Red Devils in Club World Cup final

ON TARGET: United's Wayne Rooney, right, outruns Gamba Osaka's Sota Nakazawa to score a goal during the Fifa Club World Cup semifinal match in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, yesterday. 18/12/08. Pic. Kim Kyung-Hoon. © Reuters.
ON TARGET: United's Wayne Rooney, right, outruns Gamba Osaka's Sota Nakazawa to score a goal during the Fifa Club World Cup semifinal match in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, yesterday. 18/12/08. Pic. Kim Kyung-Hoon. © Reuters.

YOKOHAMA - Manchester United overpowered Japan's Gamba Osaka 5-3 to book their place in the Club World Cup final yesterday, with six goals in a breathless 17 minutes.

YOKOHAMA - Manchester United overpowered Japan's Gamba Osaka 5-3 to book their place in the Club World Cup final yesterday, with six goals in a breathless 17 minutes.

First-half headers from Nemanja Vidic and Cristiano Ronaldo, both from Ryan Giggs corners, set them on their way but it was the second half that set the game on fire.

Gamba pulled one back through Masato Yamazaki in the 74th minute before Wayne Rooney pounced a minute later. Darren Fletcher made it 4-1 on 78 minutes before Rooney bagged another seconds after the restart.

Adding to the drama, Gamba won a penalty when Gary Neville handled the ball and Yasuhito Endo converted the spot kick with five minutes left. Hideo Hashimoto then made it 5-3 in injury time.

United now have to overcome Ecuador's Liga de Quito on Sunday to claim one of the few pieces of silverware to elude the club in its distinguished history.

l English clubs playing in the three levels below the Premier League have voted to create a rule forcing the inclusion of at least four so-called "home-grown" players in their match squads from next season.

The Football League, which governs England's three professional divisions below the Premier League, says that a team's 16-man squad will have to include at least four players who have been registered in the country for a minimum of three seasons prior to their 21st birthday. That should all but guarantee four English players in each squad. - Sapa-AFP

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