YOKOHAMA, Japan, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Japan’s Sanfrecce Hiroshima beat New Zealand part-timers Auckland City 1-0 in the opening game of the Club World Cup on Thursday thanks to a 25-metre rocket from Toshihiro Aoyama.
The match was the first in which FIFA officially used goal-line technology although there was little opportunity to test its effectiveness in a game of few chances.
Aoyama’s dipping drive in the 66th minute lit up a pedestrian encounter and sent the J-League champions into Sunday’s quarter-finals where they face Egypt’s Al-Ahly.
Yojiro Takahagi and Ryota Moriwaki hit the woodwork from long distance after the break as Hiroshima dominated without providing any real threat inside the box.
Dethroned European champions Chelsea and South American Libertadores Cup holders Corinthians join the seven-team competition at the semi-final stage next week. (Reporting by Alastair Himmer; Editing by Robert Woodward)