• Saturday Dec 14, 2013

    Monterrey eliminated from FCWC contention

    Monterrey's Jose Maria Basanta (middle) puts his hands to his head during a FIFA Club World Cup quarterfinal against Raja Casablanca on December 14, 2013, in Agadir, Morocco. (Photo: Mexsport)


    AGADIR, Morocco – Monterrey’s dreams of becoming the first CONCACAF team to win the FIFA Club World Cup were dashed Saturday, when Raja Casablanca pulled off a 2-1 extra-time victory in the quarterfinals at Agadir Stadium.

    In the 95th minute, Kouko Guehi leaped over Jesus Zavala to head Mohsine Moutaouali’s corner kick into the back of the net for what proved to be the game-winning goal.

    Raja, the Moroccan champion, beat Auckland City, 2-1, in a playoff on Wednesday to set-up a date with the three-time CONCACAF champion.  It will now meet Atletico Mineiro of Brazil in the semifinals on Wednesday in Marrakesh.

    The Rayados will face Egypt’s Al Ahly, which lost to Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande, 2-0, in the other quarterfinal, in a fifth place match, also on Wednesday in Marrakesh.

    Competing in its third straight FIFA Club World Cup, Monterrey had the better of play in the opening half hour, but found itself trailing after Chemseddine Chtibi scored against the run of play in the 24th minute.

    Zakari El Hachimi played a dangerous low cross in front of the goal that a diving Jonathan Orozco was unable to corral.  Chtibi lost his mark and tapped into the open net to give Raja Casablanca the 1-0 lead.

    Dominating possession, the Rayados pressed for the equalizer, but opposing goalkeeper Khalid Askri was up to the challenge.

    He got his hand on a low shot through traffic by Cesar Delgado in the 35th minute and then dived to his left to parry away Neri Cardozo’s attempt from 20 yards for the game’s first corner six minutes later.  Brazilian Silva latched onto the ensuing corner, but headed wide.

    Monterrey leveled eight minutes after the interval, when Chilean Humberto Suazo placed a perfect free kick toward the back post, where defender Jose Maria Basanta rose over his defender and headed the ball in from the edge of the six-yard box.

    Cardozo had a chance to put the Rayados in front when he was played behind the Raja Casablanca defense, but Askri denied him, coming off his line to make the save on the hour mark.

    Suazo had one last chance to force penalty kicks, but his attempt bounced inches wide of the left post in the 119th minute.

    NOTES: The match for fifth place between Monterrey and Al Ahly will be the send Club World Cup meeting between the sides.  Last year, the Rayados defeated the eight-time African champion, 2-0, in the match for third place.

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