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FIFA Club World Cup 2016

Club America, Atletico Nacional meet for bronze

Bruno Valdez of Club America in action during the FIFA Club World Cup Semi Final
© Getty Images

After missing out on a place in this year's FIFA Club World Cup final, Club America and Atletico Nacional will be keen to bounce back with a victory in the match for third place at Japan 2016. The Copa Libertadores and CONCACAF Champions League winners, who last faced each other over two legs in the 2005 Copa Sudamericana, offer an intriguing undercard to the tournament’s grand finale between Real Madrid and Kashima Antlers. looks ahead to the action.

The match
Club America-Atletico Nacional, Yokohama International Stadium, Sunday 18 December, 16:00 (local time)

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Club America faced a daunting task in the semi-final when they were paired with UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid, who extended their unbeaten record in all competitions to a staggering 36 games with a 2-0 win against the Mexican side. The CONCACAF Champions League winners still have much to play for, however, and can create their own history by claiming bronze at Japan 2016. Club America have never finished higher than fourth in their two previous Club World Cup appearances and a podium finish at Japan 2016 would see them register their best finish at the tournament, capping off their centenary year in style. 

Meanwhile, tournament-newcomers Atletico Nacional were unable to make their chances count against Kashima Antlers in their Club World Cup debut. The Colombian side put the J.League champions under enormous pressure from the off, and despite dominating possession and chances, *Los Verdolagas* were unable to recover from conceding a 33rd-minute penalty, eventually succumbing to a 3-0 loss against the spirited Antlers in Osaka. While it was the first time Atletico Nacional had ever faced Kashima in a competitive match, third-place play-off opponents Club America present somewhat more familiar opposition. Both sides faced off in the 2005 Copa Sudamericana, with America running out 7-4 winners over two legs in the Round of 16. 

The stat
8* – **Club America will surpass the record number of matches played by a Mexican team at the FIFA Club World Cup when they face Atletico Nacional in the match for third place at Japan 2016. The Estadio Azteca side’s semi-final defeat against Real Madrid in Yokohama saw them equal Monterrey’s record of seven matches played at the tournament.

The words
*“We’re taking this match very seriously and we want to end the tournament with our best performance and by finishing third. We need to show more aggression than we did in the semi-final,”
 Club America head coach Ricardo La Volpe*

“We have one more match to play for our respect, our dignity. We are confident in playing a better match and getting over the hard blow we suffered,” Atletico Nacional defender Felipe Aguilar

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