Mexican Club Pachuca, making their fourth appearance at the FIFA Club World Cup, will be finally returning home with a bronze.
They comprehensively defeat weary hosts Al Jazira 4-1 in the third place encounter at the Zayed Sports City Stadium on Saturday.
Under overcast conditions, Pachuca’s Uruguayan winger Jonathan Urretaviscaya, nicknamed Rayo (Lightning) struck to put the visitors in the lead in the first half. Al Jazira drew level through Khalfan Mubarak after the change of ends but Franco Jara restored the edge immediately before substitute Roberto De La Rosa made it 3-1. The tally was then completed by Ángelo Sagal, who scored off a penalty in the 85th minute. This was Pachuca’s best ever performance at the Club World Cup till date; they had finished fourth in 2008 edition.
The first noteworthy move came in the 12th minute from Pachuca. A measured cross from the left by Sagal found Erick Sanchez but the latter ended up shooting it wide.
Three minutes later, the framework coming to the rescue of Al Jazira of a set-piece. A Jara release took a deflection off the header from defender Saif Khalfan before finding the bottom of the vertical and rebounding back in play. An overlapping Oscar Murillo followed it with a header but it lopped over the framework.
Jazira had scored all their goals so far through counters and they almost got one against the run of play in the 31st minute. Brazilian forward Romarinho, who scored against both Real Madrid and Auckland City, found Ali Mabkhout with a measured through. The latter’s final touches, however, was blocked with a sliding effort by Pachuca defender Omar Gonzales.
Pachuca kept pressing and shot into the lead in the 37th minute. Urretaviscaya, from a Jara through, had all the time in the world once defender Juma missed out on the clearance to pick his spot. A flick from the outside off his boot was enough to get the ball into the open goal past an onrushing Khaled Al Senaani, who starred for Al Jazira in the absence of their injured skipper Ali Khaseif.
After the change of ends, Al Jazira had to get an early break-through to stay in the game and it came in the 59th minute, through a throw in.
Romarinho showed his magic with the ball to create jitters in the Pachuca defence before unleashing a right footer which was blocked by goalkeeper Alfonso Blanco. The rebound effort from Mbark Boussoufa was also blocked on the line by Garcia but the third attempt a powerbacked left-footer from Mubarak settled into the right corner of the goal.
Pachuca, however, didn’t take long to restore the lead. Three minutes later the made it 2-1 after Jara shot home from a pin point cross from the left flank through from Sagal off a counter.
Then substitute De La Ros, who came in place of Jara in the 79th minute, scored of his first touch from the centre of the box after being set by Erick Sánchez’s through ball. Pachuca then pilled on more misery after Salim Rashid brought down Sachez inside the box and Sagal converted the penalty with ease.
By N. D. Prashant
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