• Tuesday Dec 12, 2017

    Pachuca falls narrowly to Gremio in FCWC semifinals

    Gremio’s Ramiro (left) battles for possession with Jonathan Urretaviscaya of Pachuca during their FIFA Club World Cup semifinal on December 12, 2017, in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

    AL AIN, United Arab Emirates – Second-half substitute Everton scored early in extra time and Gremio earned a 1-0 win over Pachuca in the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup (FCWC) semifinals on Tuesday at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium.

    With the victory, the South American champion advanced to Saturday’s final against the Al Jazira-Real Madrid winner, while Pachuca will face the loser in the match for third place earlier that same day.

    A physical final-four encounter generated only three shots on target and produced 48 fouls, including 30 by the CONCACAF champion Tuzos, who lost Victor Guzman to an expulsion in the 109th minute.

    The only goal was netted in the 94th minute, when Everton dribbled into the left side of the box and ripped a right-footed shot just underneath the crossbar from 13-yards out that left goalkeeper Oscar Perez – the competition’s oldest-ever player at 44-years-old – with little hope of stopping.

    Although the loss was Pachuca’s second in as many FCWC semifinal appearances, it was the closest a CONCACAF representative came to reaching the decider.  In seven previous semifinals involving a CONCACAF side, the narrowest margin of defeat was two goals on four occasions.

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