It took extra time, but in the end Grêmio earned a 1-0 victory against 10-man Pachuca in the 2017 Club World Cup semifinals.
The game was hard-fought from the beginning as both teams looked to make their mark. Chances were few and far between, however, with a strong defensive showing on either end limiting both Pachuca and Grêmio largely to shots from distance.
The 2017 FIFA Club World Cup is underway in the United Arab Emirates, and CONCACAF’s representative, Mexico’s Pachuca, will continue their participation this Tuesday.
Pachuca advanced past CAF representative Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in the quarterfinals with a 1-0 victory in extra time, and they will now take on CONMEBOL champion Grêmio, who is entering the tournament in this round.
Monterrey earned a comprehensive 4-0 victory against Monarcas Morelia in the second leg of their semifinal series to put the Rayados into the Gran Final with a 5-0 aggregate win.
It didn’t take the Rayados long to add to their aggregate lead, with Monterrey making it 1-0 (2-0) in just the 9th minute. Hugo González sent a long clearance to Rogelio Funes Mori, who let the ball bounce and then sent his volleyed shot past Sebastián Sosa.
Tigres UANL earned a 3-0 win against nine-man América in the second leg of their semifinal series to put the universitarios into the Gran Final with a 4-0 aggregate win. This will be Tigres’ third straight appearance in the final.
América came out attacking as they looked to overturn the first-leg deficit, but it was the hosts who always looked more likely to open the scoring. Tigres hit the woodwork twice, through Enner Valencia and André-Pierre Gignac, but neither team was able to find the breakthrough in the first half.
Monterrey earned a 0-1 away win against Monarcas Morelia in the first leg of their semifinal series thanks to a first-half penalty.
Monarcas started the game well in front of their home fans, who packed the Estadio Morelos. The hosts had the first good chance of the game in just the 3rd minute, when Rodrigo Millar saw his shot hit the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten.
A controversial penalty kick gave Tigres UANL a 0-1 away win against América in the first leg of their semifinal series.
The visiting universitarios put the pressure on from the start, with André-Pierre Gignac forcing a good save out of Agustín Marchesín in the third minute. Marchesín was then called into action against Eduardo Vargas, with the keeper making a fingertip save to keep Tigres off the board in the 12th minute.
The quarterfinals wrapped up this Sunday with all four higher seeds advancing. Monterrey, the superlíder, was the only team to win their quarterfinal series outright, with Tigres UANL, América, and Monarcas Morelia all needing tiebreakers to advance after aggregate draws.
Those four teams will now face off in the semifinals this week, with the first legs in midweek and the return legs over the weekend. Tigres and América will play Wednesday and Saturday, with Monterrey and Morelia playing Thursday and Sunday.
The complete schedule and match-ups are as follows: