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Quito's opening game was against Mexican side Pachuca, who had defeated Egyptian club Al-Ahly 4–2 in the quarter-finals after extra time.4 Their semi final match was played at the National Stadium in Tokyo on 17 December 2008.5 LDU Quito scored two goals in the first 26 minutes, through Bieler and Bolaños, securing a place in the Club World Cup final of 2008.6
Manchester United's semi-final opponents were Gamba Osaka, who had previously defeated AustralianA-League premiers and Asian Champions League runners-up, Adelaide United, 1–0 to move into the second semi-final on 18 December.7Vidić and Ronaldo opened the scoring in the first half, putting Manchester United ahead by two goals at half time. Yamazaki was the next to score, in the 74th minute, to bring Gamba back into the competition, but Rooney scored twice and Fletcher once, within the next five minutes to extend United's lead. Endō converted an 85th minute penalty kick and Hashimoto got a third for Gamba just minutes before the final whistle. The end result was 5–3, taking Manchester United forward to the final.89