Luis Suarez scored the first FIFA Club World Cup hat-trick as Barcelona, without Lionel Messi and Neymar, cruised past Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande to reach the final in Japan.
The former Liverpool striker did all the damage as the European champions recorded a 3-0 victory, sealing his treble from the penalty spot late on after Munir El-Haddadi had been felled.
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Tottenham Hotspur flop Paulinho and 99-times capped international Robinho were among the strong Brazilian contingent in the Guangzhou side, but they were no match even for a weakened Barca.
They held out until 39 minutes when Suarez smashed home his 13th goal in 10 games in all competitions from close range, after a shot from Ivan Rakitic had been parried by the Guangzhou goalkeeper.
He doubled Barcelona’s lead five minutes after the restart, brilliantly controlling a deft Andres Iniesta pass and volleying home. He then completed his hat-trick from the spot on 87 minutes.
Barcelona, winners of the tournament in 2009 and 2011, will become the first team to win the Club World Cup on three occasions if they beat Argentine champions River Plate on Sunday.
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