Monterrey claimed third place in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup by beating Al-Hilal 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw. The result matches Monterrey’s previous best finish in the tournament, which they earned in 2012.
Monterrey had the first good chance of the game in the 14th minute, when Ángel Zaldívar played in Arturo González, but Abdullah Al-Mayoof made a kick-save to deny “Ponchito”. Despite a few more chances for the Rayados, it was the AFC champions who took the lead.
In the 35th minute, Carlos Eduardo headed home a cross from Yasser Al-Shahrani to give Al-Hilal the 1-0 lead in the 35th minute.
Eduardo had another chance before halftime, when he again got his head to a cross from the right, but this time his attempt was off target.
Then, in the second half, Monterrey turned things around. In the 55th minute, Al-Mayoof came off his line but couldn’t deal with a cross; Jonathan Urretaviscaya headed it back across goal and González headed it into the empty net to tie the game 1-1.
Monterrey completed the comeback in the 60th minute, when Maxi Meza received the ball from Zaldívar and beat the keeper with a left-footed shot to make it 2-1 for the Rayados.
They couldn’t hold on to the lead, however, with substitute Bafetimbi Gombis finishing off a cross from Eduardo to make it 2-2 in the 65th minute; Luis Cárdenas had gotten a hand to the header, but was unable to keep it out.
With the 2-2 draw persisting through the end of regulation, the match went straight to penalties to determine the winner. Luis Cárdenas turned into the hero for the Rayados in the shootout as he not only saved penalties from Eduardo and Mohamed Kanno, but also converted the winning PK himself.
Monterrey will now turn their attention to the Liga MX final, where they’ll face América on December 26th and 29th to determine the Apertura 2019 champions.