Soccer

Alphonso Davies, Bayern capture Club World Cup to add to trophy haul

Alphonso Davies' Bayern Munich topped the Tigres UANL 1-0 to win the Club World Cup title on Thursday.

Champions League winners defeat Mexico's Tigres on Benjamin Pavard's lone strike

Canada's Alphonso Davies and Bayern Munich captured the Club World Cup after defeating Mexican side Tigres 1-0 on Thursday in Qatar. (Ibraheem Al Omari/Reuters)

Bayern Munich beat Tigres 1-0 to win the Club World Cup on Thursday for its sixth title under coach Hansi Flick, hours after midfielder Thomas Muller tested positive for the coronavirus.

In front of a masked, socially distanced crowd, Benjamin Pavard scored the only goal in the 59th minute in a comfortable game for the Champions League winner against Mexico's Tigres, the first team from North and Central America to reach the world final.

Muller wasn't there to celebrate with the team, though. Bayern and FIFA said he was moved into isolation after his positive test was revealed. Their statements didn't address how Muller might have been infected or whether any other players had close contact with him.

"It's a shame he can't be here and I hope he's back soon," striker Robert Lewandowski said in televised comments. "In football something like this can happen and you have to not accept it but adapt to it, and show your best football."

The Club World Cup is just the latest honour Canadian Alphonso Davies has earned with Bayern Munich.

The 20-year-old fullback from Edmonton has already won the Champions League (2020), Bundesliga title (2019, 2020), DFB Cup (2019, 2020), UEFA Super Cup (2020) and German Super Cup (2020).

Two video reviews changed the course of the game. The first ruled out a goal after deeming that the offside Lewandowski was interfering with play when he jumped over Joshua Kimmich's goal-bound shot in the 18th minute.

The second review gave Benjamin Pavard the opening goal, overturning another offside call against Lewandowski, who had challenged the goalkeeper before the ball bounced free for Pavard to knock into the net.

Both teams had players who featured in Mexico's surprise win over Germany at the 2018 World Cup. A similar upset was never on the cards. Tigres came closest to scoring in its own net when a misplaced headed backpass was stopped on the goal line by keeper Nahuel Guzman.

European win streak hits 8

Bayern's win extended Europe's run of consecutive Club World Cup wins to eight, highlighting European clubs' vast financial advantage over the rest of the world. Leroy Sane could have scored another for Bayern, but his 34th-minute shot brushed the bar on its way over.

Egyptian club Al Ahly secured third place with a 3-2 win on penalties over South American champion Palmeiras after the game finished 0-0. The format didn't include extra time. Al Ahly's third place was the best result by an African team at the Club World Cup since Morocco's Raja Casablanca lost the 2013 final to Bayern Munich.

Canadian referee Drew Fischer served as VAR official for the third-place game. He previously worked the tournament games between Qatar's Al Duhail SC and Egypt's Al Ahly SC and Bayern Munich against Al Ahly SC.

The 40-year-old from Calgary has previously officiated at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup and CONCACAF U-20 Championship and the 2019 MLS all-star game. He was a member of the first-ever video assistant referee crew at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France and was also the VAR official at the 2020 MLS Cup final.

He has been on FIFA's referee panel since 2015 and VAR panel since 2021.

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