Kashiwa Reysol completed a double Asian celebration on Day 2 of the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2011 by beating Monterrey 4-3 on penalties after 120 minutes of football ended in a 1-1 draw. Just hours after Al-Sadd’s 2-1 win over Esperance, substitute Ryohei Hayashi fired home Kashiwa's winning spot kick to secure a hard-earned win and a semi-final date with Santos on Wednesday.
The J.League champions had dominated their opening match against Auckland City, but found themselves on the back foot at the start of this one as their Mexican opponents went for the jugular from the first whistle. Just three minutes were on the clock, in fact, when Humberto Suazo spurned a terrific chance to hand the CONCACAF champions the lead after racing clean through on goal. Los Rayados' Chilean talisman took the ball round the keeper but overran it, although he retrieved the situation by back-heeling for Neri Cardozo to sting Takanori Sugeno’s palms with a powerful right-foot drive.
Suazo was again at the heart of the action 12 minutes later, this time rattling the upright with a left-foot shot after being picked out by a superb Cesar Delgado cross. Monterrey were well on top at this stage and again came close to an opener after 22 minutes, when Luis Perez’s delicate 25-yard free-kick dropped just wide of the left-hand post with Sugeno stranded.
Slowly but surely though, the home hopefuls established a foothold in this match, and on 35 minutes they produced their first noteworthy effort, Jorge Wagner sending a left-footed drive skidding just wide from 30 yards. Then, in first half stoppage time, Kashiwa came closer still, when a slick counter-attack ended with Junya Tanaka heading into the side-netting from a measured Hiroki Sakai cross.
Monterrey could certainly have offered no complaints when they fell behind after 53 minutes, and nor could they have quibbled with the quality of the strike. Tanaka created it, atoning for his earlier miss with a perfectly measured right-foot cross, and top scorer Leandro Domingues obliged with an emphatic finish, smashing an acrobatic volley beyond the helpless Jonathan Orozco.
The J.League champions’ noisy band of supporters erupted behind the goal, and those same fans should really have had a second goal to celebrate just four minutes later, when Wagner’s inch-perfect corner was somehow headed over by Hiroki Sakai from inside the six-yard box. Missing such opportunities rarely goes unpunished of course, and, sure enough, parity was restored within 60 seconds.
Cesar Delgado again provided Monterrey’s attacking impetus with an unselfish right-footed centre, and Suazo – profligate in the first half – made no mistake this time, sliding in to crash the ball into the roof of the net. After that flurry of activity, chances dried during the half-hour that followed, as the game drifted inexorably towards extra time. However, right at the death, Domingues might have won it for Kashiwa only to scuff his shot, allowing Orozco to make a comfortable save, after showing some delightful close control to jink beyond a couple of challenges.
Extra time failed to produce any more goals, so penalties were required to find a winner, and it was in the shoot-out that the real drama unfolded. Sugeno put Kashiwa in the driving seat from the off, saving the first spot-kick from Luis Perez. And after his Monterrey equivalent went from villain to hero, striking the post with a penalty of his own before saving from Junya Tanaka, Ryohei Hayashi sparked delight in the stands by slamming the winning kick into the bottom right-hand corner.