Abu Dhabi: Gareth Bale needed less than a minute to help Real Madrid reach the Club World Cup final after his team faced a potential shock elimination from the tournament.
Bale scored with his first touch after coming on as a substitute in the 81st minute as Real Madrid came from behind to beat Emirates club Al Jazira 2-1 in Wednesday’s semifinal.
The Los Blancos will try to win its third world title in four seasons when they face South American champion Gremio of Brazil, Saturday.
The match had two goals disallowed by video review, one for each team. There was confusion when Madrid’s first half goal was ruled out by a decision that took a few minutes before the video assistant referee became involved.
Madrid struggled early and allowed the local league winners to open the scoring with a goal by Brazilian forward Romarinho just before half time.
But Cristiano Ronaldo equalised early in the second half and Bale netted the winner less than a minute after replacing Karim Benzema. The Wales forward, coming off a series of injuries, scored with a low left-foot touch from the center of the area after a pass by forward Lucas Vazquez, who had also come off the bench.