Jose Paolo Guerrero fired Corinthians to the 2012 Club World Cup in a 1-0 final victory over Premier League side Chelsea inYokohama, Japan.
The Peruvian striker, top scorer in the 2011 Copa America, headed home the only goal of the game days after nabbing the winner in the Brazilian side's semi-final victory over Al Ahly.
Making matters worse for the Champions League holders was the 90th-minute dismissal of Gary Cahill after the centre-back lashed out at Emerson in an off-the-ball exchange.
The Copa Libertadores winners have become the first side from Brazil to win the tournament since 2006, and they add the accolade to their 2000 success in a round-robin format which featured Manchester United at the expense of their FA Cup entry that year.
With two sides who like to dictate the attacking tempo competing in a tournament with less fear of defeat than the likes of the Champions League and Copa Libertadores, the final unsurprisingly proved full of chances.
And on 11 minutes, the goal-line technology being trialled at the competition in Japan was almost called into action when Cahill sent a Chelsea corner towards goal which left goalkeeper Cassio and his defenders scrambling to keep the ball out by inches.
Corinthians really should have taken the lead just shy of the half-hour mark when Guerrero’s forward pass was inexplicably leaked through by the Blues back line only for Emerson to somehow shoot over in the subsequent one-on-one with Petr Cech.
Emerson then hit the post from a tight angle five minutes later after Guerrero’s initial effort dragged wide in an attack which stemmed from a breakaway when Paulo Andre denied Victor Moses a close range opportunity at the other end.
Fernando Torres brought down Frank Lampard’s superb ball over the top from the halfway line with aplomb on 37, but failed to add any guidance to his shot which was smothered by the outrushing Cassio.
Moses had a curling drive pushed around the far upright by the busy Corinthians stopper with five minutes remaining until the break while Guerrero somehow escaped a booking for deliberate handball.
That said, with both Ramires and Emerson getting off with just a verbal warning for lunging challenges which have sometimes yielded even more than a yellow in the Premier League recently, it appeared as though it would take a lot to convince Turkish official Cuneyt Cakir to utilise his cards.
Cassio did well to deny Hazard on 54 before Paulinho lashed a well-worked routine wide 10 minutes later as the South American outfit began to take more control.
And after several impressive passages of possession in all areas of the pitch, Corinthians finally found the game’s breakthrough when Guerrero headed home Danilo’s rebound after Cahill blocked the attacking midfielder’s initial effort.
Cakir finally began to issue cards late on, with Luiz booked for a fairly innocuous foul considering all which had been allowed earlier in the match.
And after Torres somehow put a glorious close range chance to level with four minutes to spare straight at Cassilo’s frame, the man who sent John Terry off in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona showed red again.
After a challenge between Emerson and Cahill in the final minute of regular time, the Englishman reacted off the ball to leave his opponent writhing in agony and was given his marching orders.
Torres had a goal struck off for offside and Mata hit the outside of the post with the last kick of the game, but Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez’s Club World Cup record moved to just one win in three as the South American flag-bearers completed the victory.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Cassio, Corinthians - The goalkeeper won the award for the tournament's best player and his crucial performance to keep Chelsea's big-money strike force at bay pretty much sealed the deal.
CHELSEA: Cech 6; Ivanovic 7, Cahill 5, Luiz 7, Cole 7; Ramires 7, Lampard 6; Moses 6, Mata 6, Hazard 6; Torres 5. Subs: Azpilicueta n/a, Oscar 6, Marin n/a.
CORINTHIANS: Cassio 9; Alessandro 8, Chicao 8, Paulo Andre 7, Fabio Santos 8 ; Ralf 6, Paulinho 8; Danilo 7, Emerson 7, Jorge Enrique 6; Guerrero 8. Subs: Martínez n/a, Wallace n/a.
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