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River Plate set for Japan challenge in Club World Cup semis

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By Centre Daily

Before a possible match against Barcelona in the Club World Cup final, River Plate must get past the locals.

The Copa Libertadores champions will take on Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the semifinals on Wednesday, a team that has already won two games in the competition without conceding a goal.

"They are the best team in Japan," River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo said Tuesday. "They are very good at controlling the ball, they play at a high quality and are extremely resilient."

Sanfrecce, bidding to become the first Asian team to reach the final, beat Oceania representative Auckland City 2-0 on Thursday before a 3-0 victory over African champion TP Mazembe on Sunday.

River Plate, which won the tournament in 1986 when it was known the Intercontinental Cup, was in Japan in August when... (Read More)