• Friday Dec 14, 2012

    Monterrey in confident mood for Chelsea

    YOKOHAMA, Japan -- Monterrey heads into Thursday's 2012 FIFA Club World Cup clash against European champion Chelsea with history on the line.

    Victor Manuel Vucetich's side knows that a win over the English giant would figure among the most important in the history of the club and Mexican football.

    "We remember Necaxa drawing with Manchester United in Rio in this competition back in 2000," Vucetich said in his post game press conference in Japan. "But winning this game would represent the most important result ever in Mexican club football.

    "We want to make history and while I know our opponents very well, we believe in our own strengths. We can win this game."

    Monterrey has already shown that it has come to Japan to compete, despite the absence of star striker Humberto Suazo, who is out with a torn thigh muscle. In its opening match in Japan, the Rayados knocked off Asian champion Ulsan Hyundai with unexpected ease, as Cesar Delgado struck for two goals and young attacker Jesus Corona netted another in a 3-1 victory.

    Now, the Rayados have none other than European champion in their sights, on the road to what would be a first-ever Club World Cup final for a CONCACAF club.

    "They are a very good team," the Monterrey head coach said of the London club. "One of the best in the world, but we are well prepared. This is going to be a new page in the history of our club team."

    A victory would also represent a new page in Mexican football, which has been growing in leaps and bounds in recent years. Mexico won the 2011 FIFA Under-17 World Cup and the 2012 Olympic tournament, and Monterrey is now hoping to add to those laurels at the club level.

    "Mexico is growing and doing better," said Vucetich. "In international tournaments, from our club teams to the national under-17s, and in CONCACAF we are growing. This tournament, for us, is a good opportunity to demonstrate that."

    The Monterrey-Chelsea match will fill out the final at the 2012 Club World Cup, after Brazilian side Corinthians topped African champion Ah-Ahly, 1-0, on Wednesday. The final is set to be disputed in Yokohama on Sunday.

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