A stoppage-time goal by Roberto Firmino gave Liverpool a 2-1 victory against Monterrey in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup semifinals.
The UEFA champions were the heavy favorites going into this one – despite a number of absences due to injury and illness – but Monterrey made them work hard for their victory. While Liverpool had the majority of possession early, a makeshift back line let the Rayados through several times on the counter, albeit without an end product.
The breakthrough came for Liverpool in the 12th minute, when Mohamed Salah received the ball, turned, and played in Naby Keïta, who beat Marcelo Barovero to make it 1-0 for the English side.
But Monterrey responded quickly with a set piece. John Stefan Medina headed the free kick into the mixer and Liverpool could only clear it as far as Nicolás Sánchez, who sent it back in for Jesús Gallardo. Alisson made the initial save, but the rebound fell straight to Rogelio Funes Mori, who made no mistake as he tied the game 1-1 in the 14th minute.
The goal energized the Rayados, who looked the more likely to score for most of the rest of the half, although Liverpool continued to have more possession. Alisson intervened to keep a Dorlan Pabón cross from reaching an unmarked Funes Mori, and then he had to go to full stretch to make a save against Pabón.
Barovero made a few interventions of his own at the other end as he made saves against Milner and Keïta to keep the game 1-1 at halftime.
In the second half, both teams pushed for the lead, and the combination of Funes Mori and Pabón continued to cause problems for Liverpool’s defense. Funes Mori was brought down on a breakaway in the 59th minute and Pabón tested Alisson with a free kick, but they couldn’t get any closer than that.
In the 61st minute, Divock Origi finished off a corner kick for Liverpool, but the would-be goal was disallowed for offside.
In the 76th minute, both coaches were yellow carded, with Antonio Mohamed sanctioned for his protests following a Joe Gomez handball and Jürgen Klopp for leaving his technical area to confront Mohamed.
Then, with extra time looming, Liverpool took the lead in stoppage time. In the 91st minute, Salah worked his way past two defenders and pulled the ball back for Trent Alexander-Arnold, whose low cross was turned in by substitute Firmino – on the field for just five minutes – to make it 2-1.
With the 2-1 win, Liverpool advances to the final to face Flamengo, while Monterrey will take on Al-Hilal in the third-place match.