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Football | International

Rafa Benitez © Action Images

Benitez rues missed chances



Interim Chelsea coach Rafael Benitez was left to rue a number of missed chances as Chelsea lost 1-0 to South American champions Corinthians in the Club World Cup final in Japan on Sunday.

Centre-forward Paolo Guerrero got the goal on 69 minutes but Benitez felt it was a string of saves from goalkeeper Cassio, later named player of the tournament, that made the difference.

"We knew it would be a tough game against a good team," Benitez said.

"I think they had one (clear cut) chance and they scored and we didn't take our chances. That was the difference.

"We had four very clear chances. Their goalkeeper was man of the match (sic) and for me that means a lot."

Striker Fernando Torres missed three good opportunities, including one from close range with just four minutes to go, while defender Gary Cahill also went close.

Benitez, who became the first coach to manage three different teams at a Club World Cup final, hinted that he felt his team were out-muscled by the Copa Libertadores winners during spells of the match.

"They were very physical from the first minute, in every challenge, every ball," the Spaniard said.

"In possession they had some quality. Once they scored, they were keeping the ball, they were passing the ball, and it was difficult to regain."

Benitez also suggested that Chelsea were at a disadvantage to Corinthians, who won the Club World Championship in 2000, because they were competing for the first time at the intercontinental tournament.

"Every second they were around the referee... doing well, and wasting time at the end," Benitez said of the Corinthians players.

"I don't say it as a negative. I say... they were managing it (the match) quite well."

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