Ronaldo on target as Real reach Club World Cup final
The Spanish giants will face shock finalists and local favourites Kashima Antlers in Yokohama on Sunday as they look to capture their second world title in three years.
With Ronaldo firing blanks until the very end of the game, Benzema struck in first-half stoppage time, the Frenchman finishing clinically with the outside of his right boot after a deft pass from Toni Kroos.
Ronaldo, who won his fourth Ballon d'Or earlier this week, had already squandered a gilt-edged chance by heading against the post.
The Portuguese superstar also had two fierce shots saved by goalkeeper Moises Munoz but finally found the net deep into injury time as Real extended their club record unbeaten run to 36 matches in all competitions.