Club América avoided Mexico’s worst-ever finish in the FIFA Club World Cup by defeating TP Mazembe in the fifth-place match. A much-changed Águilas squad beat the Congolese team 2-1 to end their participation in the 2015 Club World Cup on a high note.
América came close through Oribe Peralta and Michael Arroyo before Darío Benedetto opened the scoring in the 20th minute. Paul Aguilar sent in a good cross to the far post and “Pipa” was there to head it home.
However, Benedetto then had to leave the game moments later with an injury.
His replacement, 22-year-old Martín Zúñiga, was the author of América’s second goal. In the 27th minute, a low cross from Osvaldo Martínez was deflected first by the keeper and then by a defender before reaching Zúñiga, who swept it home from close range.
Up 2-0, América began to look comfortable, but Mazembe made a game of it with a goal just before halftime. América lost the ball and Mazembe quickly worked it into the box, where Moisés Muñoz stopped the initial shot but gave up a rebound that Rainford Kalaba put away.
It was Mazembe who started the second half stronger and they came close to the equalizer on several occasions, but Muñoz made a few good saves to keep América in the lead. Nacho Ambriz then sent on regular starters Rubens Sambueza and Paolo Goltz to regain control of the game, and in the end the Águilas preserved the 2-1 victory.
América: Moisés Muñoz, Erik Pimentel, Ventura Alvarado, Paul Aguilar, Osmar Mares, José Daniel Guerrero, Andrés Andrade (Paolo Goltz 83′), Osvaldo Martínez, Michael Arroyo, Oribe Peralta (Rubens Sambueza 65′), Darío Benedetto (Martín Zúñiga 20′).
Mazembe: Sylvain Gbohouo, Yaw Frimpong (Chongo Kabaso 60′), Joel Kimwaki, Patient Mwepu, Salif Coulibaly, Bope Bokadi (Boubacar Diarra 45′), Daniel Adjel, Rainford Kalaba, Mwbana Samatta, Adama Traore, Thomas Ulimwengu (Clavier Assale 71′).