Getting up at five o’clock this morning to watch a game on TV live from Japan reminded me of World Cup 2002. But this time, instead of watching England lose against Brazil in Japan, it was the turn of the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup featuring Manchester United against Gamba Osaka from Yokohama.
From the first few minutes, it was apparent that this was going to be a very open game, but who would have expected eight goals in a 5-3 win by Manchester United? While Manchester United’s first two goals were scored from headers by Nemanja Vidic and Cristiano Ronaldo, both connecting from corner kicks, the turning point in the game was when Wayne Rooney entered the game as a substitute for Carlos Tevez when the score was 2-0 to Manchester United.
Incredibly, the game came alive and five goals were scored within five minutes. Rooney scored within one minute with his first touch of the ball, and netted a goal later in the match. Darren Fletcher also scored just a few minutes after Rooney’s first goal.
The TV coverage and commentary from Fox Soccer Channel was well done with Max Bretos and Christopher Sullivan in fine form. While Max can be too over excited at times, Sullivan continues to impart golden nuggets of tactical insight throughout matches which I always appreciate.
Manchester United now plays Liga de Quito (from Ecuador) in the final on Sunday, December 21st with the kick-off at 5:30am ET on Fox Soccer Channel.