by GIANFRANCO PANIZO
Pachuca, the CONCACAF representative at the FIFA Club World Cup, represented the region well by rallying back from a 2-0 deficit with four unanswered goal to post a 4-2 overtime victory against Al-Ahly in Club World Cup quarterfinal action.
The victory earned the Mexican club a semifinal meeting against Ecuadorian squad Liga de Quito, the South American club champions, on Dec. 17.
Al-Ahly drew first blood as defender Fausto Pinto net an own goal in the 28th minute. The score would double for the African champions as Flavio hit home a sitter on a quick counter-attack in the final minute of the half.
Rather than fold, Pachuca regrouped and rallied in the second half with two goals, before scoring two more in overtime to book its place in the semis.
Luis Montes struck in Pachuca's first goal of the tournament two minutes after the second half began, sending in a free kick cross that bounced passed everyone including goalkeeper Amir Abdelhamid who misread the ball.
In the 72nd minute another free kick would prove costly for Al-Ahly. Gimenez, who had been fouled at the edge of the box by captain Shady Mohamed, perfectly executed the free kick as he beautifully curled the ball to the left side.
The game eventually went into extra-time where Pachuca held all the momentum. A 97th minute deflection saw the ball crash into the penalty area and Damian Alvarez scooped up the loose ball before tapping it into the net from close range.
The Mexican side would seal their ticket to penultimate round of the FIFA Club World Cup with a late tally as Gimenez perfectly one-timed a through ball with his left foot to the far post.
Los Tuzos will play against LDU Quito of Ecuador in the semifinals on December 17.
All the goals and highlights from yesterday's game can be seen here and here.
Here are some other stories to catch up on during this jam-packed day of soccer:
Peru reaches a compromise
News has come out of Peru that the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) has come to an agreement with the country's government over a disputed debate that caused the troubled country a month-long ban.
Peru's Institute of Sports (IPD), the other culprit in this whole ordeal, has found solution to a problem that needed to be resolved by December 20. The terms for the agreement were not disclosed but FPF president Manuel Burga seems optimistic that FIFA will lift the ban that has prevented Peru from participating in all international competition.
"I believe that on December 20, we will get a positive reply from FIFA and at that time we will have the final decision to solve our current problem definitely," Burga said.
Van der Sar extends contract
Edwin Van der Sar has put to rest all the rumors of him possibly retiring at the end of the EPL season by signing a one-year contract extension with Manchester United.
Don't expect Van der sar to prolong his career after next season though.
"Obviously, it will be his last year, "Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said. "He will be almost 40 then, which is a great credit to the lad. He has been absolutely marvellous here."
During his career, the Dutch goalkeeper has also played for Ajax, Juventus, Fulham and he's amassed 130 caps for the Netherlands National team.
Did you witness Pachuca's incredible come from behind victory? Happy that Peru has apparently resolved their issue? Was it smart on Manchester United's part to renew Van der Sar's contract?
Share your thoughts below.
Torres looked clean and crisp on the ball, but was gassed after 40 minutes. The Flavio stomp took what was left of his legs. He played a good game easily the best player in the midfield for the first half. However Cardenas & Montes looked very good in the second half as C. Jimenez took the team on his back. Rojas also from the right back. The coach parlayed all the right moves.
For those of you who missed it a very dramatic game, coming down from 2-0 in a half and playing a ‘beautiful’ game of possession….I think Pachuca had like 70% of the possession in the game.
Who names their kid Shady?
John Sutcliffe is reporting that the US Mexico game will be played in Salt Lake City.
If only MLS teams took the CONCACAF tournament seriously (well the Dynamo gets a chance this season) instead of the $uperliga and numerous useless friendly games with European and Mexican clubs.
Eurosnobs and people in the region will take notice of MLS if it can win the CL and get to Japan.
Torres was subbed out around 65th minute after being largely ineffective although it could’ve had something to do with Flavio stomping him down right before the half.
I’m not sure if Torres will start the next game seeing as how Cardenas and Montes performed much better than Torres.
I hope we see much more of Torres next year. I think he could really be good if he combines what he’s learned with the Mexican league to what he learns in with the American NT. He could become a more well-rounded/complete player.
it was a magnificent game that pachuca played in a very long time. and torres after a tuff 1st half finished the game strong.
Nice to know that Torres is finding success with his club.