Soccer

Chelsea to face Monterrey

2012-12-09 16:27
Chelsea (File)

Toyota, Japan - European 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.

In the intercontinental tournament's other quarter-final, Al Ahly of Egypt beat J-League winners Sanfrecce Hiroshima to set up a dream last-four tie with Brazilian giants Corinthians.

CONCACAF champions Monterrey went through thanks to two goals from forward Cesar Delgado and one from midfielder Jesus Corona, in a match that saw the camera-based goal-line technology Hawk-Eye used for the first time.

The 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."

"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," he added.

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 started the second half strongest, but it was not until the 77th minute they managed to score a second goal when neat interplay between their forwards ended with Delgado side-footing the ball into the net.

Shortly afterwards the AFC Champions League winners were further behind, when Delgado took the ball round an Ulsan defender and placed it in the corner of the net on the 84th minute.

A strike from long range by Asian player of the year Lee Keun-Ho, which deceived Monterrey goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco, proved to be nothing more than a consolation.

Ulsan coach Kim Ho-Gon said: "Our opponents had really great organisational and individual skill, and we were not able to make the match ours or fully leverage our capabilities."

Al Ahly, wearing black armbands in memory of the 72 fans who died in the Port Said Stadium disaster in February, started at a frenetic pace and got their reward after only 15 minutes when Elsayed Hamdi scored from inside the box.

Hiroshima levelled on 32 minutes when top scorer in the J-League last season Hisato Sato fired a shot underneath goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy as the Egyptians were down to ten men with Hossam Ghaly receiving treatment off the pitch.

The Japanese champions spurned two opportunities before the half-time whistle blew -- chances they would rue 12 minutes into the second half when substitute Mohamed Aboutrika, on for Ghaly, pounced to score after a defensive slip-up.

Al Ahly coach Hossam El Badry said: "We tried to be aggressive at the beginning and we started the match very well... I think we deserved to win."

Hajime Moriyasu, the Hiroshima coach, said: "In the middle of the first half we started to demonstrate aggressive football in the Hiroshima style but in the second half we suffered from fatigue."

Al Ahly, seven-time African champions, will take on Copa Libertadores winners Corinthians in Toyota on Wednesday. Monterrey will play Chelsea at Yokohama International Stadium the next day.

Ulsan and Hiroshima will compete in a fifth place play-off.

Neither of Sunday's games appeared to have a contentious goal-line incident for Hawk-Eye, which uses seven cameras to determine the trajectory and position of the ball, to judge.

Hawk-Eye is one of two systems FIFA are trialling at the tournament. GoalRef, a magnetic-field-based technology, made its debut Thursday.

Read more on:    chelsea  |  club world cup  |  soccer
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