Pachuca learn their lesson
© Foto-net

Pachuca's painful defeat in last year's FIFA Club World Cup inspired them to secure a semi-final place against South American champions Liga de Quito in this year's tournament.

The Mexicans' FIFA Club World Cup debut last year saw them dominate possession but squander chances to lose 1-0 to Tunisia's Etoile Sahel in the quarter-final. This time, however, they stormed back from two goals down to beat Al Ahly, six-time African champions 4-2 on Saturday.

"Last year, I wept, because we had thought we were destined to win that game. We were thinking about our next game," said Pachuca goalkeeper and skipper Miguel Calero. "It's natural that I wept after beating Al Ahly. We thought of nothing but this game this time. Hopefully, we can keep winning."

Al Ahly forward Mohamed Aboutrika's deflected cross was turned into his own net by Fausto Pinto with an own goal in the 28th minute. Aboutrika then linked up with team-mate Mohamed Barakat to feed Angolian forward Flavio in the 45th minute to put the Egyptian side in control at 2-0.

Second-half substitute midfielder Luis Montes ignited a Pachuca comeback by scoring with a free kick from the right side of the box two minutes after the break. Striker Christian Gimenez struck home an equalizer in the 73rd minute before Damian Alvarez and Gimenez sealed the victory in extra time.

"After that goal, Pachuca gathered the momentum and started to fight back thinking they would be able to win," lamented Al Ahly coach Manuel Jose, adding that Pachuca's belief was the difference between the two teams.  "It caused us to lose another two goals," he said.

Pachuca coach Enrique Meza said that although his team learned a lot from their defeat last year, he was keen on now focusing on the future.

"The experience we had in 2007 already belongs to the past. We gained another chance this year and we took it. It's new history for us. Hopefully, we can keep winning to make history further," said Meza.