Sunday 22 September 2019

Quick-fire Bale hat-trick downs Antlers

Real Madrid 3-1 Koshima Antlers

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale scores their first goal. Photo: REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale scores their first goal. Photo: REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Gareth Bale scored a sensational 11-minute hat-trick as Real Madrid began their quest for a third successive Club World Cup by beating Kashima Antlers.

The Real forward had been doubtful for the semi-final clash in Abu Dhabi due to an ankle sprain, but proved his fitness in superb style.

Gareth Bale scores Real Madrid's third goal to complete his hat-trick. Photo: REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
Gareth Bale scores Real Madrid's third goal to complete his hat-trick. Photo: REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

He calmly slotted home the opener in the closing stages of the first half, before his quick-fire double early in the second period put the game beyond his Japanese opponents.

Antlers midfielder Shoma Doi reduced the deficit with a consolation 12 minutes from time.

UAE club Al-Ain await Real in Saturday's final following their shock penalty shootout victory over Copa Libertadores champions River Plate.

Bale has now scored six goals in the tournament, trailing only his former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo who has netted seven.

Gareth Bale shakes hands with coach Santiago Solari while holding the match ball at the end of the match. Photo: REUTERS/Andrew Boyers
Gareth Bale shakes hands with coach Santiago Solari while holding the match ball at the end of the match. Photo: REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

"He (Bale) played a superb match," Real coach Santiago Solari told reporters.

"He has shown what he is, and what he can do."

Bale was substituted in the 60th minute only for his replacement Asensio to be forced off 14 minutes later due to injury.

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