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OFC trio take charge of third place play-off

But the region still had several flag-wavers right up until the final day of action in the form of an OFC match official trio.
Referee Peter O’Leary was joined by two assistant referees, fellow Kiwi Mark Rule and Fiji’s Ravinesh Kumar, in travelling to Japan for the event and received a taste of the action in the third place play-off on December 16.
O’Leary and co controlled the play as Mexican outfit Monterrey defeated Egypt’s Al-Ahly 2-0 to become the first side from their country to finish third at the prestigious tournament since Necaxa in 2000.
Goals from Jesus Corona and Cesar Delgado were enough for Monterrey to accomplish the feat in front of nearly 60,000 fans at the International Stadium Yokohama while O’Leary enjoyed a largely uneventful game, issuing only two cautions throughout the evening.
Immediately after the play-off for third, Brazil’s Corinthians became FIFA Club World Cup champions thanks to a 1-0 win over English side Chelsea in the final at the same venue.
New Zealand’s 2011 Referee of the Year, O’Leary was making his fifth visit to the FIFA Club World Cup after appearances in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011. He has officiated at eight FIFA events in total, including U-17 and U-20 World Cups and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where he was a fourth official.
The Whangarei-based school teacher was also the man in the middle for Uruguay’s win over United Arab Emirates at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
“I love football and I love refereeing – I’ll keep doing it until I’m asked to stop,” O’Leary says.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to be appointed to any FIFA tournament and I’m thankful I’ve been able to go to a few.”
O’Leary is among 52 people hailing from 46 countries vying for a place among the list of officials for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ and was selected to take part in an initial workshop in Zurich, Switzerland, during September.

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