CONCACAF representatives Monterrey emerged victorious in the third place playoff of the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup after beating African champion Al Ahly by a 3-1 score at Toyota Stadium.
Al Ahly gifted the opening goal for Jesus Corona after a misunderstanding at the back. Cesare Delgado scored his third goal of the tournament in the second half from a counterattack while goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco denied the Egyptians on several occasions to see off the challenge of the African champion.
The game immediately started on a high after kickoff. Mexico international Aldo De Nigris was put through on goal by Jesus Corona in the second minute only for the linesman to raise his flag. However the club didn’t have to wait too long for the opener. Severo Meza and Neri Cardozo played between them before the latter sent a ball over the Al Ahly defence for Corona. Goalkeeper Mahmoud El Saoud and defender Sayed Moawad clattered in their attempt and neither got the ball away which was easily slotted home by Corona.
Thereafter Al Ahly saw more of the ball and created a couple of half chances through Waleed Soliman. The club's best chance came at the half hour mark when Waleed Soliman’s curling free kick found Emad Motean who saw his header come off the post.
Mohamed Aboutrika came close to leveling things up right before halftime but his diving header went just wide of the left post.
In the second half the African champion tried to come out from its shell early on with some decent attempts, but it was the brilliance of the Monterrey custodian Orozco that saw the scoreline remain the same.
Just four minutes after coming on as a substitute, Syed Al-Hamdy came close as he tested goalkeeper Orozco who made a fine save to deny the Al Ahly striker.
Monterrey was tested again as Abdalla El Said saw his shot parried away by Orozco which went straight to Al-Hamdy who failed to find the back of the net on the rebound in the 64th minute.
Two minutes later, Al Ahly was made to pay as De Nigris found Cardozo with a lovely through ball. He in turn set it up for Delgado whose calm finish helped Monterrey double the lead.
The Mexican side could have gone 3-0 up in the 77th minute. De Nigris releases Delgado who squared the ball for Cardozo whose shot was blocked. The ball went as far as Delgado whose cross should have been converted at the far post as the Al Ahly defense went to sleep.
Orozco continued his fine form between the sticks as he denied Aboutrika and Rami Hisham late on. Monterrey held on to its lead and finished third at the Club World Cup.