Monterrey set up glamour Chelsea tie
TOYOTA - Agence France-Presse
Monterrey's players celebrate after winning over Ulsan Hyundai in their quarterfinal at the FIFA Club World Cup in Toyota, Japan, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. AP photoEuropean champions Chelsea will face Monterrey in the semi-finals of the Club World Cup after the Mexican side defeated South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai 3-1 in Japan on Sunday.
Two goals from forward Cesar Delgado and one from midfielder Jesus Corona put the CONCACAF champions through, in a match that saw the camera-based goal-line technology Hawk-Eye used for the first time.
The quarter-final victory at a largely empty 36,000-capacity Toyota Stadium avenged Monterrey's defeat in the same round last year when they crashed out on penalties to Japan's Kashiwa Reysol.
"The experience of last year was really helpful to us," Monterrey coach Victor Vucetich said. "This time we were better prepared. We knew Ulsan had a lot of tall players so we tried to pass (along the ground) and break their style (of play)." Monterrey will play Chelsea on Thursday at Yokohama International Stadium.
"Chelsea are a well-known team in the world but we are confident and we are not going to lose any hope. We will be playing to win." Monterrey were dealt a blow less than 24 hours before kick-off with the news that star striker Humberto Suazo would not be fit for the match, but the absence of the Chilean was quickly forgotten as the Mexicans started brightly.
Corona opened the scoring after just nine minutes with the easiest of tap-ins at the back post following an inch-perfect pass across goal by striker Aldo de Nigris.
Monterrey continued to press forward and De Nigris missed a golden opportunity just two minutes later when he headed straight at Ulsan goalkeeper Kim Young-Kwang from close range.
Midway through the first half it was Ulsan centre-forward Kim Shin-Wook who missed when it looked easier to score, the number nine failing to get enough on a header from the edge of the six-yard box following an in-swinging free kick.
Monterrey also looked the brighter of the two sides at the start of the second half.
De Nigris again went close with a header, then moments later the men in orange had a goal rightly disallowed for offside.
The second goal finally came on the 77-minute mark. Following neat interplay between Monterrey's forwards the ball kindly broke to Delgado who side-footed the ball into the back of the net without difficulty.
There was no way back for the recent AFC Champions League winners and shortly afterwards they were further behind.
On 84 minutes Delgado picked the ball up on the edge of the box and expertly took it round an Ulsan defender before placing it in the corner, leaving goalkeeper Kim with no chance.
A strike from long range by Asian player of the year Lee Keun-Ho, which deceived the Monterrey goalkeeper, proved to be nothing more than a consolation.
Ulsan coach Kim Ho-Gon said: "We analysed our opponents and prepared for the match but we were simply just not able to play in our own style.
"Our opponents had really great organisational and individual skill, and we were not able to make the match ours or fully leverage our capabilities," he added, saying his charges lacked experience of playing in "such a big game".
The match's four clinical finishes meant Hawk-Eye, which uses seven cameras to determine the trajectory and position of the ball, was not needed to judge any of the goals.
It is one of two systems being trialled at the intercontinental showpiece. GoalRef, a magnetic-field-based technology, made its debut Thursday.