Gareth Bale scored a hat-trick as Real Madrid beat Japan’s Kashima Antlers 3-1 on Wednesday to book a spot in the Club World Cup Final.
European champions Real will play host side Al Ain FC in Saturday’s final in Abu Dhabi as they bid to win the title for the third year in a row.
Kashima almost made a dream start inside two minutes with a close-range shot from Serginho that was saved by Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Bale opened the scoring in the 44th minute with a left-foot strike into the bottom corner of the net after playing a one-two with Marcelo.
Bale struck his second in the 53rd minute, taking advantage of a defensive mix-up that left the Kashima goal wide open, and the Wales forward made it 3-0 to the Spanish side two minutes later with a left-foot shot into the top corner.
Bale has now scored six goals in the tournament, trailing only his former team mate Cristiano Ronaldo who has netted seven.
“He (Bale) played a superb match,” Real coach Santiago Solari told reporters. “He has shown what he is, and what he can do.”
Bale was substituted in the 60th minute only for his replacement, Asensio to be forced off 14 minutes later due to injury.
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