Sao Paulo have won the inaugural Club World Championship, defeating Liverpool 1-0 in a gripping encounter in Tokyo.

Mineiro’s goal on 27 minutes was enough to secure the title although Liverpool will considfer themselves unlucky after dominating the game.

The Premiership side had come from behind to win both the European Cup and the European Super Cup, but a combination of poor finishing and some inspired work from Rogerio in the Sao Paulo goal, denied them a third trophy of the year.

Liverpool should have taken the lead in the first minute when Steven Gerrard put picked out Fernando Morientes who steered his header wide. Further chances fell to Harry Kewell and Gerrard as Liverpool began to exeert their authority in the opening period.

However, Mineiro soon made them pay for their profligacy when he latched onto an delightful Aloiso pass to slide the ball past Jose Manuel Reina – the only man to do so in 12 games.

Luis Garcia hit the crossbar soon after and the Liverpool dominatee the second half as the Brazilian side were happy to sit on their one-goal lead.

Liverpool had the ball in the back of the net on three occasions but each time the referee disallowed the goal. Gerrard also came close but his freekick was spectacularly saved by Rogerino.

Afterwards, a disappointed Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez praised the efforts of his players.

“We did everything we could to win the game.

“It is difficult if they do not concede. We had a lot of chances to score and also a penalty claim.

“This was a very important competition but we need to focus elsewhere now.”

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