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MARRAKECH, Morocco (AP) — Real Madrid's opponent in the Club World Cup final will be San Lorenzo after the South American champions ended a surprise tournament run by amateur team Auckland City with a 2-1 victory on Wednesday.
Madrid will be the favorite on Saturday after San Lorenzo needed extra time to get past Auckland's team of part-timers and amateurs who fit soccer around day jobs.
Given their meager resources, it could have been the ultimate David vs. Goliath story had the Oceania champions advanced to face the world's richest team.
The only resemblance between Auckland and Madrid are their white shirts. The New Zealand squad that traveled to Morocco includes a truck driver, a cleaner, students, a lawyer, a kitchen salesman and a brewery worker.
A surprise seemed possible when Auckland City's Angel Berlanga tied the game in the second half after Pablo Barrientos scored in the first half for San Lorenzo. But substitute Mauro Matos netted San Lorenzo's winner in extra time.
"Being semi-professional doesn't mean they're not a good team," Barrientos said. "They were at a very high level."
Auckland coach Ramon Tribulietx said the manner of his team's loss felt like "a big, big win."
"We are the moral winners by a mile tonight," he said. "We will remember this for a long time."
Madrid is hoping to cap its successful year with a Club World Cup victory. It also won the Champions League and Copa del Rey. Star forward Cristiano Ronaldo picked up the Ballon d'Or trophy as world player of the year in 2013.
Auckland will play CONCACAF champions Cruz Azul in the third-place match on Saturday. Auckland defeated Moroccan side Moghreb Tetouan and the champions of Africa, Entente Sportive de Setif from Algeria, to reach the semifinals.
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