• Wednesday Dec 17, 2008

    Pachuca falls to Liga de Quito 2:0 in Club World Cup semifinals

    TOKYO - Pachuca surrendered a goal in the fourth minute and lost 2:0 to Ecuador's Liga de Quito in the semifinals of the Club World Cup on Wednesday.

    The Mexican side fell behind by two goals by the 26th minute, similar to its quarterfinal against El Ahly of Egypt on Saturday when it rallied for a 4:2 victory in extra time. But unlike its previous match and despite earning more of the possession, Pachuca was unable to mount a second-half charge.

    The result sends Liga into Sunday's final against the winner between Manchester United or Gamba Osaka, while Pachuca will face the loser of the second semifinal in the third-place match. Pachuca will be looking to match the previous best finish by a CONCACAF side in the competition.

    Costa Rica's Saprissa finished third in 2005 as did Mexico's Necaxa in the inaugural Club World Cup in 2000.

    With the game played in a constant rain, Liga capitalized on a defensive lapse to jump ahead. After Alejandro Manso led a counter-attack out of midfield, his ball intended for Claudio Bieler was intercepted by Julio Manzur. But the attempted sliding clearance stuck Leonardo Lopez and bounced back into the path of Bieler, who easily beat Pachuca keeper Miguel Calero.

    The Libertadores champ doubled its lead when Pachuca gave away a free kick on the penalty arc with a handball. Luis Bolanos converted, taking a short run-up before curling his right-footed shot in the top right corner past a diving Calero.

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