TOKYO: Real Madrid extended their unbeaten run to 36 games by beating Club America 2-0 to reach the FIFA Club World Cup final.
Karim Benzema gave the European champions the lead with a clipped finish after a Toni Kroos pass.
Cristiano Ronaldo sealed the win – and a place in Sunday’s final against Kashima Antlers – by drilling a second in added time amid some confusion.
Referee Enrique Caceres briefly asked for a video assistant consultation before allowing the goal to stand.
This year’s Club World Cup is the first tournament to use video assistant referees. A pitchside monitor is available to referees to review decisions.
However, Caceres did not view the incident on the monitor before restarting the game and awarding the goal.
In the other semi-final, referee Viktor Kassai stopped the game after being alerted to an incident by his assistant, then viewed footage on a monitor and gave a penalty to Kashima Antlers in their win over Atletico Nacional.
The Club World Cup features champion club sides from each of the six continental confederations plus the champions – Kashima – from host nation Japan.
Before Real Madrid’s match began, there was a minute’s silence at the Yokohama Stadium, in tribute to the victims of the air crash on 28 November that killed 71 people, including 19 players and staff of Brazilian team Chapecoense.
Ronaldo, who won the Ballon d’Or for a fourth time earlier in the week, had hit the post with a glancing header from Lucas Vazquez’s cross before Benzema scored.
The Portuguese then had a shot blocked and headed wide before scoring.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said that the uncertainty surrounded Ronaldo’s late strike needs to be ironed out as new uses of technology are trialled.
Referee Caceres initially called for a video review, before independently deciding that there had been no infringement in the build-up to the goal.
“Things have to be clearer. We can not control what they want to do to improve things with technology but things have to be clearer,” the former France international said.
The tournament is the first time that a pitch-side monitor has been available for referees to view footage to help them make “match-changing decisions”.