FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP UP AND RUNNING

As the Blues prepare to jet off to Japan for our debut appearance in the FIFA Club World Cup, the competition got underway over in the Far East earlier today (Thursday).

Sanfrecce Hiroshima took on Auckland City at the Yokohama International Stadium - which will host both of our matches - with a quarter-final against African champions Al-Ahly at stake, and it was the Japanese side who secured their passage courtesy of a slender 1-0 win.

The part-timers from New Zealand turned in a spirited display against the J League champions, who were backed by a passionate home crowd, but they were unable to recover after Toshihiro Aoyama had given Sanfrecce the lead 24 minutes from time, and suffered an early exit.

Our Club World Cup campaign begins at the semi-final stage on 13 December when we face the winners of the Ulsan Hyundai v CF Monterrey match, which is due to take place this coming Sunday.

Our semi-final will kick-off at 10.30am UK time.