Saturday, December 17, 2011

17 December 2006 - The Only Stat That Matters

On 17 December 2006, Barcelona dominated Internacional in the Club World Cup Final in all statistical categories but one--the score.

Playing before a crowd of 62,128 at Yokohama's International Stadium, Barcelona had better possession than the Brazilians (57% to 43%) and also outshot them 17 to 10. Meanwhile, Internacional played a cynical game, delivering more than twice as many fouls (25) as they received (10).

Only two of Internacional's shots were on goal, but it was the last one that counted. Substitute forward Luiz Adriano corralled a long pass near the midfield stripe and maneuvered around defender Carles Puyol to slide a pass toward his fellow substitute, Adriano Gabiru. Defender Rafael Márquez stepped up to challenge him, but slipped, leaving the striker one-on-one against goalkeeper Victor Valdés. Valdés did well to get a hand on Adriano Gabiru's shot, but the ball still ended up in the net for the game's only goal.

Barcelona eventually won the competition in 2009 and are preparing to face another Brazilian club, Santos, for a shot at another.

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