Monterrey saw off a comeback attempt by Al Sadd to earn a 3-2 victory against the Qatari team in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup quarterfinals.
Monterrey, representing CONCACAF, was making their debut in the tournament, while Al Sadd was coming off a victory against Hienghène Sport in the play-in round. Despite Al Sadd’s home-field advantage, it was Monterrey who took the lead in the 23rd minute. Leonel Vangioni scored a golazo as his left-footed shot from distance went in off the woodwork to make it 1-0 for the Rayados.
Al Sadd had more of the possession, but they couldn’t do much with it, while Monterrey was active on the counter as they looked to add to their lead. A golden opportunity came in first-half stoppage time, when a Gabi Fernández miscue sent the ball right into the path of an unmarked Rogelio Funes Mori, who had a simple finish to make it 2-0 for the Rayados.
Al Sadd looked to regroup in the second half, and they started it off strongly. In the 66th minute they were able to reduce the deficit when Baghdad Bounedjah headed home a cross from the right to make it 2-1.
But Carlos Rodríguez restored Monterrey’s two-goal advantage in the 77th minute, when he finished off a layoff in the box to make it 3-1.
Abdelkarim Hassan scored late with a powerful shot from outside the box to make it 3-2 and guarantee a frenetic finish, but in the end Monterrey held on to the lead.
With the 3-2 win, Monterrey advances to the semifinals to face Liverpool, while Al Sadd will take on Espérance de Tunis in the fifth-place match.