There will be mixed emotions for SC Internacional do Porto Alegre and Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma F.C. when they meet to decide which side finishes third at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2010. Copa Libertadores champions Internacional will hope to finish the tournament with a win to efface the disappointment of their shock semi-final loss, while the K-League side will be striving for a good result to top off their spirited displays so far.
Sport Club Internacional–Seongnam Ilhwa FC, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, Saturday 17 December 2010, 18.00 (local time)
Before the tournament, the Brazilian side probably never believed they would find themselves in this position. After all, O Colorado came to the UAE as favourites to reach the final and in with a good chance of winning the tournament outright, just as they did back in 2006. Indeed, their fans held legitimate hopes their club would create history by becoming the first to win the FIFA Club World Cup twice.
Things did not go to plan for Celso Roth’s charges though, and they were left stunned by a 2-0 defeat to CAF Champions League winners TP Mazembe Englebert in the semi-final. Instead it was the Congolese side that made history by becoming the first African club to reach a FIFA Club World Cup final.
In contrast, third place would constitute an impressive achievement for AFC Champions League winners Seongnam Ilhwa FC. Despite their semi-final reverse against Italian giants F.C. Internazionale Milano, the Korean outfit were happy overall with their performance, as coach Shin Tae Yong confirmed after the game, “We weren’t bad. We put on a good show.”
Seongnam will try to emulate the success achieved by fellow K-League side Pohang Steelers FC, who finished third in 2009 by beating Atlante of Mexico.
5 – Seongnam are the fifth Asian club, and fourth in succession, to contest the match for third place in the FIFA Club World Cup. That is the same number of times a CONCACAF team has played off for third, while this year’s appearance by Internacional is an unwanted first for a club from South America.
“We lost our last game but I don’t think we’ll be affected. I believe we can beat Internacional if we can stop them scoring. We’ll be ready when we meet them in the match for third place,” Shin Tae Yong, Seongnam Ilhwa FC coach.
“Most people expected us to reach the final here but we failed. Now we must get our heads up. Life goes on. I don’t know if we will be able to make up for this failure in the Club World Cup but we’ll get other chances to do so,” Guiliano, Sport Club Internacional midfielder.