Monterrey take third place at Club World Cup
YOKOHAMA, Japan - Agence France-Presse
CF Monterrey's Argentine forward Cesar Delgado (2-R) celebrates with his teammates after scoring the second goal against Al-Ahly SC during the FIFA Club World Cup 2012 third-place match at Yokohama International Stadium, south of Tokyo, Japan, 16 December 2012. EPA photoMexican side Monterrey took third place at the Club World Cup in Japan on Sunday, defeating African champions Al Ahly 2-0.
Goals from Jesus Corona goal and Cesar Delgado were enough to see the CONCACAF champions win, but it was far from plain sailing with the Egyptians seeing plenty of the ball and creating numerous goal-scoring opportunities.
Winger Corona opened the scoring on three minutes, easily tapping into an open goal after Al Ahly goalkeeper Mahmoud Abou Elseoud and defender Sayed Moawad had collided while both trying to clear the ball.
Striker Delgado almost made it 2-0 after 24 minutes with a sidefooted shot from inside the box but the ball sailed wide of Elseoud's left-hand post and out for a goal kick.
It proved to be the last chance of the first 45 for the Mexicans, who lost to Chelsea 3-1 in the semi-finals, as Al Ahly surged forward looking for an equaliser.
Striker Emad Meteab was unlucky not to get it on the half-hour mark when his powerful header struck the post following a perfectly delivered in-swinging free kick.
Al Ahly were unfortunate not to go into the break level after twice forcing Monterrey into some last-ditch defending before forward Mohamed Aboutrika missed an easy header from the edge of the six-yard box with five minutes to go.
Shortly after the restart Aboutrika had another golden opportunity -- this time forcing Monterrey goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco into a splendid save with a firm shot from near the penalty spot.
The Cairo club pressed forward but the equaliser never came and on 66 minutes they were hit on the counterattack, Delgado breaking through Al Ahly's backline to chip the ball over an onrushing Elseoud and into the net.
Al Ahly continued to seek a way back into the match but there were no further goals at Yokohama's International Stadium and Monterrey finish the annual intercontinental tournament third, going some way to avenging last year's shock exit to Kashiwa Reysol at the quarter-final stage.
"We are very happy because this is our second Club World Cup and compared to last year we did better," Monterrey coach Victor Vucetich said. "We are able to get a medal and that's a very good thing for Mexico and CONCACAF." Al Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry said: "I am very much disappointed. We wanted to be third.
"We had many opportunities which we missed. If those opportunities had been taken then I think we would have been able to reverse the score."