- POSTED: 22 Dec 2013 03:07
- UPDATED: 22 Dec 2013 05:56
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Atletico Mineiro had Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho sent-off but still struck in the last minute to snatch third place at the Club World Cup with a 3-2 win over Guangzhou Evergrande on Saturday.
MARRAKECH, Morocco: Atletico Mineiro had Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho sent-off but still struck in the last minute to snatch third place at the Club World Cup with a 3-2 win over Guangzhou Evergrande on Saturday.
Ronaldinho had pulled his team level at 2-2 in the dying moments of the first half with his second spectacular free-kick of the tournament.
But the 33-year-old World Cup winner was then red-carded in the 87th minute for a foul on Zhao Xuri.
Despite playing the closing stages with just 10 men, the Copa Libertadores champions grabbed the dramatic winner courtesy of substitute Luan.
European champions Bayern Munich will face hosts Raja Casablanca for the title later Saturday.
"I think we represented Chinese football well," said Guangzhou coach Marcello Lippi who was unhappy with the officials.
"We lost because of a mistake by the linesman."
Atletico Mineiro were in front after just two minutes when Diego Tardelli found the net after a corner from Ronaldinho.
But the Asian champions stunned the Brazilians with two goals in six minutes.
Muriqui, who played seven games at Atletico on loan in 2010, levelled in the ninth minute before compatriot Elkeson rattled the crossbar.
It was another South American, Argentine import Conca who put the Chinese side 2-1 up on the 15-minute mark from the penalty spot after Gao Lin had been upended in the area.
It was an emotional strike for Conca who was playing his final match for the club having already agreed to return to Fluminense for next season.
However, Ronaldinho, who had curled in a memorable free-kick in his side's shock semi-final loss to Raja Casablanca, repeated the trick on the stroke of half-time to make it 2-2.
His pinpoint free-kick, awarded after Kim Young-Gwon had been penalised for a foul, left Guangzhou goalkeeper Li Shuai completely flat-footed.
The Brazilian, who now has 22 career goals in FIFA competitions, was then red-carded for his lunge at Zhao.
But Luan, who had replaced Jo on the hour mark, had the final say, burying the winner in the first minute of time added on.
The victory was a fitting farewell for coach Cuca who will take over at Guangzhou's Chinese rivals Shandong Luneng next year.
"Guangzhou made us work hard and they gave me an idea of what to expect in China," said Cuca.