15.12.2015 12:56 h

Hiroshima look to staunch River's flow

Argentina's River Plate will be expected to dispatch Sanfrecce Hiroshima in their Club World Cup semi-final in Osaka on Wednesday despite the spoiling tactics the Japanese champions plan to deploy.

"We will try to frustrate them," Hiroshima manager Hajime Moriyasu told reporters on Tuesday.

"We will need to try and cancel out their strengths to have a chance of winning. Anything can happen in football. A victory would be a huge achievement for us."

Hiroshima will be buzzing after pulling off a 3-0 upset over Congolese side Mazembe in the quarter-finals at the weekend.

"We scored more goals than anyone in the J-League and conceded the fewest goals," said Moriyasu. "We will be prepared for a battle."

But Moriyasu's side are likely to find that Libertadores Cup holders River have too much firepower when they compete for the right to face tournament favourites Barcelona or Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande in the final in Yokohama on December 20.

River Plate won the Intercontinental Cup, forerunner of the Club World Cup, by beating Steaua Bucharest 1-0 in Tokyo in 1986. They will be roared on by around 15,000 fans who have made the trip from Buenos Aires.

"Hiroshima play the game the right way," said River coach Marcelo Gallardo, dubbed 'The Doll' in Argentina for his slight frame. "They're prepared to take risks and look to attack and score goals.

"But we will try to play smart with high intensity," he added. "If we play intelligently and press well, we can gain an advantage."

Barcelona remain runaway favourites to become the first team to win the Club World Cup three times. But Gallardo recently received a glowing tribute from Barca superstar Lionel Messi, who described him as an "intelligent coach".

A blushing Gallardo said: "Coming from the world's best player, it is a nice compliment, it's positive. There will be time to take on board such praise but for now we must focus on tomorrow's game against a very good Japanese team."

Argentina's Boca Juniors, Estudiantes and San Lorenzo have all finished as runners-up since the revamped FIFA Club World Cup was launched in 2000, with European clubs winning seven of the 11 tournaments played.

"We have the chance to crown an excellent year and make history," said winger Carlos Sanchez, making his River Plate swansong before joining Mexican side Monterrey. "Being here in Japan is special. I don't know if I'll get a chance to experience it again."