• Wednesday Dec 15, 2010

    Cvitanich rallies Pachuca at Club World Cup

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Dario Cvitanich scored twice in the final eight minutes and Pachuca took some consolation from the Club World Cup on Wednesday, rallying for a 2-2 draw and eventual 4-2 win on penalty kicks over local side Al-Wahda in the fifth-place match.

    Cvitanich, who replaced Raul Martinez in the 77th minute, converted crosses from Franco Arizala in the 82nd and 89th minutes, and goalkeeper Miguel Calero made a key stop in the penalty shootout to earn the Mexican side the victory

    Mexico dominated possession and chances, but wasted numerous opportunities - including a 73rd minute penalty attempt - before capitalizing on a man advanted over the final 18 minutes.

    Ismaeil Matar gave Al-Wahda a first-half lead and Mahmoud Al Hammadi doubled the advantage with 13 minutes remaining to seemingly seal the fate of Pachuca.

    But Cvitanich boosted Pachuca with a redirection of an Arizala cross from directly in front of goal in the 82nd minute. It was the Mexican side's first goal at the Club World Cup since a 4-2 extra-time victory over Al-Ahly in the 2008 quarterfinals - a stretch of nearly four full games.

    Pachuca continued to push forward and create chances, equalizing with less than a minute remaining in regulation. Arizala worked free on the right side and drove a low, right-footed ball to Cvitanich, who clipped it from inside the six with the heel of his right shoe behind his left leg and past Al-Wahda keeper Adel Al Hosani.

    The match immediately went to penalty kicks where Cvitanich, Leo Lopez, Javier "Mustafa" Munoz and Braulio Luna converted their chances. After Hugo was given a second opportunity to convert his chance for Al-Wahda, Basheer Saeed also converted. But Calero blocked Abdulraheem Jumaa's chance and Modibi Diarra put his try high to give Pachuca the victory.

    Pachuca had more than 60 percent of the possession and outshot Al-Wahda 26-16 (17-8 in chances on goal), but was thwarted on several close-range shots by Al Hosani until Cvitanich's entry.

    Edgar Benitez further added to Pachuca's frustration by sending the 73rd-minute penalty attempt over the bar.

    Matar put Al-Wahda ahead in the 44th minute. Hugo, a Brazilian and only non-Emirati in Al-Wahda's starting lineup, raced down the left and got behind Francisco Torres, launching a curling cross that sailed over the head of Raul Martinez and enabled Matar to volley from just outside the six-yard box.

    Pachuca appeared to have earned an equalizing penalty in the 72nd when Hamdan Al Kamali ran over Franco Arizala at the top of the penalty area. South African referee Daniel Bennett ejected Al Kamali but Benitez was unable to convert.

    Al Hammadi doubled Al-Wahda's lead in the 77th, getting the rebound of his own shot after Calero had blocked his initial attempt and tapping in.

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