Club World Cup: Guzman Nods Pachuca Through with Extra Time Winner

Club World Cup: Guzman Nods Pachuca Through with Extra Time Winner
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Published December 9th, 2017 - 18:57 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Members of Wydad Casablanca's team pose before the start of their FIFA Club World Cup quarter-final match against CF Pachuca at Zayed Sports City Stadium in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi on December 9, 2017.
GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP
Members of Wydad Casablanca's team pose before the start of their FIFA Club World Cup quarter-final match against CF Pachuca at Zayed Sports City Stadium in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi on December 9, 2017. GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP

Concacaf champions Pachuca took 112 minutes to break down 10-man Wydad Casablanca in the quarter-final of the Fifa Club World Cup at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Victor Guzman headed in Jonathan Urretaviscaya’s cross with eight minutes of extra time to spare to salvage the otherwise goalless game from an inevitable penalty shoot-out to nick it 1-0. The Mexican club will now take on Brazil’s Gremio in Tuesday’s semi-final at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.

Pachuca suffered a nervy start in a hostile atmosphere where their fans were clearly weren’t the majority of the 12,488 in attendance.

Morocco’s Wydad did their best to capitalise on that with persistent early breakaways and crosses, but nothing put keeper Oscar Perez — who at the age of 44 became the oldest player to feature in a Club World Cup — under any undue pressure.

Once the Mexicans had settled into their rhythm and started to unlock the flanks with their trademark runs down the right however, they gained a lot more confidence.

Twin crosses and run-ins from that side saw both Angelo Sagal and Erick Aguirre lunge at the ball in vain in the middle of the box. Then, just before the interval, Jonathan Urretaviscaya was left swinging at an effort, which was played in and deflected over the defence by his teammates ready for him in free space in front of goal.

Early on in the second half, a poor clearance from Wydad keeper Zouhair Laaroubi fell directly to Keisuke Honda whose return shot then went fractionally wide of the post as Pachuca re-emerged after the break calmer and a lot more composed.

Sagal could have put Pachuca ahead after his effort, driven back in from a corner, hit a deflection and wandered wide. He also failed to convert after running onto a through-ball moments later.

The African champions were by now docile and nullified, but they awoke after the hour when Esmail Al Hadad ran down the left flank and chipped an effort onto the top of the crossbar from a tight angle.

Pachuca immediately responded first with Victor Guzman heading just over from a corner.

Hopes of Wydad then continuing their revival were dashed when captain Brahim Nakach was sent off for a second bookable offence on 70 minutes.

Pachuca kept on pushing with Guzman getting onto the end of a corner for a shot.

And up the other end, Perez was eventually troubled with just over 10 minutes to spare when Achraf Bencharki stretched to get onto Zakaria Al Hachmi’s cross, taking down both Perez and Oscar Murillo as a consequence.

With the game going into extra time, Guzman headed in a corner flapped away by keeper Laaroubi on 94 minutes and Reda Hajhouj hit the side-netting. In the second half, Guzman popped up for the winner heading in a arching effort over the arms of Laaroubi from Urretaviscaya’s right cross to propel his side into the next round.

By Ashley Hammond

© Al Nisr Publishing LLC 2017. All rights reserved.

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