Pachuca and Gamba set to sparkle
© Foto-net

Disappointed not to be challenging for the main prize, semi-final losers Gamba Osaka and Pachuca have the opportunity to claim a place on the podium when they meet at the International Stadium in Yokohama on Sunday.

Despite producing some thrilling football against Manchester United, the Japanese team were still soundly beaten and will be keen to repay the home fans for their enthusiastic support during the 5-3 defeat. As for the Mexicans, after coming up short against Liga de Quito they lack no incentive to show what they are capable of in what has all the makings of an open, attacking encounter.

The game
Pachuca-Gamba Osaka, Yokohama, Sunday 21 December, 16.30 (local time)

The stakes
Whichever way you look at it, being recognised as the third-best team in the world is no mean feat. Last year the honour fell to Urawa Red Diamonds after they overcame Etoile Sahel, and there is little question that Gamba would like to repeat their compatriots' achievement. Nevertheless, CONCACAF champions Pachuca are anxious to do their region proud by emulating fellow countrymen Necaxa and Costa Rican outfit Deportivo Saprissa, who came home third in 2000 and 2005 respectively.

Adding further spice to the game is the fact that Yasuhito Endo and Christian Gimenez are both in the running to finish the tournament as top scorer. Along with Wayne Rooney, the duo have found the back of the net twice so far.

The stat
0 -
The number of red cards shown in the competition to date, a statistic that will hopefully remain unchanged following Sunday's games. The only other dismissal-free FIFA Club World Cup was Japan 2006.

The birthday
Gamba's Michihiro Yasuda could be excused for feeling a little sleepy at kick-off time on Sunday. The usually tireless left-sided midfielder celebrates his 21st birthday the day before, and though his hopes of marking the occasion by winning the trophy have been dashed, third place would prove a nice consolation.

The words
"Like us, Pachuca play a passing game and if we let them play the way they want to it will be difficult for us. I thought we gave a very good account of ourselves against Manchester United and we'll be trying to produce the same kind of performance this time and finish on a positive note," Satoshi Yamaguchi, Gamba Osaka defender.

"We'll be taking this game just as seriously as our previous ones. Despite what happened the team is fine and although defeats like that always affect your morale, we'll get over it. I'm expecting a pretty intense match because we're both technical sides, and I can promise you that we'll be doing everything we can to win it," Enrique Meza, Pachuca coach.