ABU DHABI (AFP) - European champions Inter Milan lifted the Club World Cup on Saturday after a 3-0 win in the Abu Dhabi final over African champions TP Mazembe.
The Italians largely dominated proceedings and had the match in their pockets once Goran Pandev and Samuel Eto'o had bagged goals in quickfire succession inside the opening 20 minutes at Zayed Sports City.
Frenchman Jonathan Biabiany slid home a third to add further gloss in the closing stages as Inter succeeded last year's winners Barcelona and added to Intercontinental Cup triumphs in 1964 and 1965 - a previous incarnation of the now expanded event.
The win meant that Inter chairman Massimo Moratti emulated his father Angelo, who held the post at the time of those two earlier successes.
Mazembe, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, had already made history by becoming the first African team to reach the final after a 2-0 upset win over Copa Libertadores champions Internacional of Brazil in the semi-finals - the biggest surprise in the 10-year history of the event.
But wily Inter proved a bridge too far as the experienced Italians struck early and then soaked up what limited and sporadic pressure the Africans were able to produce thereafter.
Inter had gone into the game hot favourites despite the injury absence of Dutch flier Wesley Sneijder - only the latest in a spate of injuries the Milanese have suffered this season, which had led to pressure on Inter coach Rafael Benitez as he attempts to replicate the success of the club last season under Jose Mourinho.
Adding the Club World Cup trophy to the Champions League, Serie A and Italian Cup titles masterminded by his predecessor will relieve some of that pressure on the former Liverpool boss as he looks to lift Inter in the second half of the season from their current seventh spot in Serie A.
Benitez, embraced by Moratti at the end, was a happy man having landed his first silverware since leaving Anfield - but also struck a cautious note.
"My relationship with the chairman is good - but I ask the club for help and respect - they did not come up with the goods after what they told me in the summer about (new) signings and so it's not easy," said the Spaniard in allusion to his desire to strengthen his injury-ravaged squad.
But he insisted his overall relationship with the club was solid.
Mazembe have become a major force in the African game on the back of five league title wins in the last decade and also the last two editions of the African Champions League.
But Inter proved a class above as Pandev fired home a neat left-footed poke after Eto'o had helped tee him up in the 13th minute.
Cameroon star Eto'o then claimed his own piece of the limelight as he drove in an instinctive right foot drive on the turn after Champions League final hero Diego Milito had combined with Esteban Cambiasso.
Milito should have made it three after beating the offside trap but drove his shot against the feet of onrushing keeper Muteba Kidiaba, who had earlier led the customary goalline pre-match prayer session for his teammates.
Brazilian defender Maicon went on the attack on the hour as Inter pressed for a third in style reminiscent of his World Cup goalscoring showing against North Korea - but could only hit the outside of the post as the Europeans continued to look comfortable.
Eto'o then tried to go it alone down the left rather than look for either substitute Stankovic or Milito but he ran into a forest of defenders and was hustled out of possession.
Again Inter came forward and Maicon whipped over a fine cross from the right in the 73rd minute but Pandev could not quite twist his head to make sufficient contact.
Inter had a brief but all too rare scare on 74 minutes when Dioko Kaluyituka went clear on goal but he lost his footing as he bore down on Inter keeper Julio Cesar, whom he tried to round but then knocked the ball too far before crumbling in a heap.
Biabiany, on for Milito, bundled home the third with five minutes to go after a Stankovic chip through the middle, to ensure that a European team would take the title for the fourth consecutive time.
Earlier, Internacional won the third-place play-off match 4-2 against South Korea's Seongnam Ilhwa.
|BREAKING NEWS: Gerrard returns to Liverpool as academy coach|
|Ivory Coast 2 DR Congo 2: Serey Die rescues point but holders still in trouble|
|Di Maria committed to PSG amid reported CSL interest|
|Sanchez a role model - Xhaka|
|Tuchel trusts Schurrle to fill Aubameyang void|
|Ghana v Mali: Rahman injury poses a problem for Grant|
|Depay not holding Manchester United grudge|
|I love watching them - Guardiola a huge fan of Pochettino and Tottenham|
|Klopp: I could kick Mane in the... lower back|
|Conte: Ake is ready to help Chelsea´s title bid|
|Allardyce provides Evra, Van Aanholt and Jenknson updates|
|Guardiola looks beyond beleaguered Bravo for City woes|
|Begovic could leave Chelsea - Conte|
|PSG still on the hunt for striker, says Emery|
|Mourinho: Valencia the best right-back in football|
|Mourinho on Young to China talk: He hasn´t told me anything!|
|Costa wants to stay at Chelsea, reveals Conte|
|´I played worse sometimes´ - Zidane defends Ronaldo from critics|
|Injured Iniesta to miss Eibar clash|
|Mourinho open to Depay return|
|Lyon confirm Depay arrival|
|Germany to bid for Euro 2024|
|Sydney FC 2 Adelaide United 0: Two goals in three minutes extend lead|
|Depay could face Marseille as Lyon boss Genesio hails winger´s ´big motivation´|
|Hull loan Elabdellaoui from Olympiacos|
|AC Milan make final offer for Deulofeu|
|Hughes ´wouldn´t encourage´ Bojan bids|
|Worker dies at World Cup stadium in Qatar|
|West Brom sign Livermore|
|Lyon president Aulas: Depay deal imminent|
|Aubameyang: I could leave Dortmund, but I´d never join Bayern|
|´Equating Messi with anyone else is like comparing a policeman with Batman´ - Sampaoli|
|It will take years to build football culture, Wenger warns CSL|
|´Worried´ Rakitic wants Barca renewal|
|Inter not signing Messi - Moratti|
|Luis Enrique hails Barca defence after ending Anoeta curse|
|´He is made of different stuff´ - Spalletti hails Nainggolan after wondergoal|
|Tottenham´s Janssen turned down Galatasaray move, agent claims|
|Did Carroll´s wondergoal give the West Ham striker whiplash?|
|Iniesta suffers calf injury|
|Swansea situation not ´hopeless´, says Clement|
|Real Sociedad 0 Barcelona 1: Neymar ends Anoeta curse|
|´Immeasurable bulls**t´ - Ligue 1 coach destroys Van Basten´s offside plan|
|Simeone praises Atletico´s precision in Copa Del Rey win|
|Fonte situation difficult for Southampton - Puel|
|´Some of the best football in the UK´ - Watford´s Mazzarri hails Bournemouth|
|Senegal 2 Zimbabwe 0: Cisse´s men charge into quarter-finals|
|Rivaldo backs Luis Enrique to deliver more Barca success|
|Atletico Madrid 3 Eibar 0: Routine win earns quarter-final lead|
|Jesus will make Premier League history - Rivaldo|
|Adebayor: Arsenal are just Ozil and Sanchez|
|Algeria 1 Tunisia 2: Favourites on brink of elimination|
|Bayern keen to seal Coman deal as Rummenigge cools Gnabry interest|
|Pochettino has done his homework on Jesus as Spurs look to march on|
|Scrap offside? Premier League managers give Van Basten´s plans a cool reception|
|Coman ready for Bayern comeback, confirms Ancelotti|
|Pochettino upbeat despite six weeks out for Vertonghen, Lamela still a mystery|
|Cerezo defiant over Griezmann amid talk of Manchester United agreement|
|Robinho named in Brazil squad for Chapecoense fundraiser|
|Davies and Lookman aren´t the big men of Everton, warns Koeman|
|Ivory Coast v DR Congo: Dussyer demands champions show true strength|
|Replacing Robben and Ribery not easy - Hitzfeld|
|Yeray back in Athletic training after successful cancer surgery|
|Karanka targeting more Boro deals after Bamford swoop|
|Cavani: I am the ultimate finisher|
|Morocco v Togo: El Ahmadi hungry for success|
|Ancelotti denies Verratti approach|
|A-League Review: Cahill double sees Melbourne City sink Mariners|
|Manchester United very happy with Shaw, insists agent|
|Mertesacker extends Arsenal deal|
|Boost for Arsenal as key quartet returns to training|
|Will Jesus save Manchester City´s title bid? Guardiola´s new striker in Opta numbers|
|Tevez mobbed after touching down in Shanghai|
|Payet exit not inevitable - Bilic|
|Wenger: Arsenal don´t need Payet|
|Jesus wants Manchester City titles|
|Orsolini arrives for Juventus medical|
|Rivaldo backs Coutinho to join Neymar at Barcelona|
|No danger of Messi leaving Barcelona, says father|
|Augusto: I convinced Oscar to come to China|
|Madrid-bound Maradona visits Napoli training|
|Sevilla in no rush over Sampaoli talks despite Barcelona links|
|Cafu: Resurgent Brazil can challenge world´s best|
|Klopp thrilled with Coutinho|
|Manchester United replace Real Madrid as world´s richest club|
|Madrid squad annoyed by defeats - Zidane wants more energy after latest loss|
|Casemiro rues more misery for Madrid against Celta|
|´Job done, let´s go home´ - Klopp happy to avoid extra time with narrow Plymouth win|
|FA Cup Review: Southampton leave it late to beat Norwich|
|Real Madrid 1 Celta Vigo 2: Aspas and Jonny extend Madrid winless run|
|Plymouth Argyle 0 Liverpool 1: Rare Lucas goal sees Klopp´s men through|
|Manchester City in La La Land as Schalke toil underground|
|Cameroon 2 Guinea-Bissau 1: Ngadeu-Ngadjui completes comeback to send Broos´ men top|
|Monaco confirm signing of Ajax teenager Antonucci|
|Manchester United´s interest in Griezmann is unsurprising - Simeone|
|Bamford ends spell in Chelsea wilderness with Boro return|
|Louis the great - Luis Enrique explains his and Barca´s debt to Van Gaal|
|Gabon 1 Burkina Faso 1: Spot-on Aubameyang makes his point|
|PSG send Ikone on loan to Montpellier|
|Senegal v Zimbabwe: Cisse wants to live up to favourites tag|
|Ghana´s Rahman leaves AFCON with knee injury|
|Algeria v Tunisia: Mahrez demands improvement in crucial Group B clash|
|Dortmund forward Dembele hits out at Bundesliga refereeing|
|Robben hopes Alonso stays at Bayern amid retirement rumours|
|Asian champions Jeonbuk banned from 2017 Champions League|
|Rakitic still an important player for Barcelona - Luis Enrique|
|Jesus will develop quicker at City - Emerson|
|Always take the weather with you - Spanish snow blights CSKA´s training camp|
|Messi never gave Coach interview, claims father|
|Gotze questions critics but admits to falling short of expecations|
|´Conte can have our title´ - Ranieri wants Chelsea to win the Premier League|
|Tottenham reject Premier League, Bundesliga offers for Wimmer|
|Liverpool sell Ilori to Reading|
|Potential victims in football abuse probe surpasses 500|
|Bonaventura signs new AC Milan contract|
|Messi: Ronaldo has achieved great things|
|Koscielny: Wenger has built men at Arsenal|
|Messi vows to stay at Barcelona ´for as long as they want me´|
|Cafu adamant Neymar will become world´s best|
|I´m just taking a sabbatical - Van Gaal denies he´s retired|
|Not even Gerrard won Premier League - Buttner says he´s not a United flop|
|Samper ignored Wenger as Barca midfielder rejected Arsenal|
|Pleased Pioli wants more from Inter|
|Evergrande boss Scolari dismisses Turan links|
|Klopp seeks legal advice over Matip|
|Marseille complete Sanson move|