Paulinho earns Guangzhou shot at Barca in Japan

Former Spurs midfielder Paulinho snatched a dramatic injury-time winner as China’s Guangzhou Evergrande stunned Mexico’s Club America 2-1 on Sunday to clinch a Club World Cup semi-final against Barcelona.

The Brazilian climbed to head in a corner with virtually the last touch of the game in Osaka, completing an improbable comeback for the Chinese and leaving dazed America players sobbing on the turf at the final whistle.   -  REUTERS

Former Spurs midfielder Paulinho snatched a dramatic injury-time winner as China’s Guangzhou Evergrande stunned Mexico’s Club America 2-1 on Sunday to clinch a Club World Cup semi-final against Barcelona.

The Brazilian climbed to head in a corner with virtually the last touch of the game in Osaka, completing an improbable comeback for the Chinese and leaving dazed America players sobbing on the turf at the final whistle.

Veteran striker Oribe Peralta ended Guangzhou’s stubborn resistance with a diving header five minutes after the break, only for substitute Zheng Long to equalise against the run of play for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side with 10 minutes left.

Paulinho, the architect for Zheng’s classic sucker punch after a swift counter-attack, then sent Chinese fans wild as he set up a clash with European champions Barcelona in Yokohama in midweek.

Congolese side Mazembe, surprise finalists five years ago, were taking on Japanese champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima in Sunday’s second quarter-final.

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