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Monterrey 2-2 Al-Hilal (4-3 on penalties): Cardenas the hero as Mexican club seal third-place finish

By Daniel Lewis
Luis Cardenas

Doha, December 21: Goalkeeper Luis Cardenas saved two penalties and scored the decisive spot-kick as Monterrey beat Al-Hilal 4-3 in a shoot-out to finish third at the FIFA Club World Cup after a 2-2 draw in normal time.

Carlos Eduardo gave Al-Hilal the lead with the only goal of the first half, but a weakened Monterrey side hit back through quickfire goals from Arturo Gonzalez and Maximiliano Meza before the hour.

Substitute Bafetimbi Gomis scored six minutes after being introduced from the bench to ensure Saturday's match at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar went all the way to penalties.

And it was Antonio Mohamed's men who prevailed in dramatic circumstances, with Cardenas proving the spot-kick hero by keeping out attempts from Eduardo and Mohamed Kanno before converting from 12 yards to secure victory.

Monterrey made 11 changes from their 2-1 semi-final defeat to Liverpool and fell behind after 35 minutes when Eduardo got between two defenders to head in Yasser Al-Shahrani's cross from 10 yards.

Gonzalez got Al-Hilal - beaten 3-1 by Flamengo in the last round - back on level terms with a powerful header 10 minutes into the second half after being teed up by Jonathan Urretaviscaya.

The Mexican side completed the comeback five minutes later through Meza's composed finish, the midfielder controlling Angel Zaldivar's drilled pass and tucking it past Abdullah Al-Mayoof with his second touch.

But it was all square once again six minutes later as Gomis was left all alone to convert Eduardo's right-sided cross, despite Cardenas getting a hand to it.

Gomis hit the post late on as the match went to a penalty shoot-out, which was decided by the heroics of Cardenas.

The keeper saved found the bottom-left corner after keeping out Eduardo and Kanno, with Vasquez having missed for Monterrey.

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Story first published: Saturday, December 21, 2019, 22:30 [IST]
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