Monterrey looked good value in their first match of the 2019 Club World Cup, downing Qatari hosts Al Sadd 3-2 thanks to goals from Leonel Vangioni, Rogelio Funes Mori, and Carlos “Charly” Rodríguez.
Monterrey had a great chance in the first minute when Jesús Gallardo hit a shot from the left wing that clattered off of the corner of the crossbar. Al Sadd had a good opportunity in the next minute at the other end as Marcelo Barovero was caught out of position but the defense was able to hold strong until an Al Sadd player was ruled offside, stopping play.
In the fifth minute, Al Sadd was awarded a free kick from just outside of the box along the near side when Spanish midfielder Gabi was run into. The resulting free kick went well high and wide, nullifying any chance. Al Sadd almost caught Rayados on a counterattack in the 10th minute but a good play to shield Akram Afif off of the ball stymied that chance.
In the 15th Al Sadd had another chance with some wonderful passing in the box. Barovero came out to make a sliding tackle but couldn’t hold on to the ball and was forced to scramble it out of bounds. Luckily for Rayados the corner kick went nowhere and another chance was averted.
In the 22nd minute as Monterrey pushed up the field, Leonel Vangioni hit a rocket from about 35 yards out that hit off of the inside of the post and over to the other side and in to give Rayados the lead.
Al Sadd looked a bit on their heels as Rayados had the clear momentum. In the 31st minute, Baghdad Bounedjah was played in on goal but inexplicably dove as the defender slid by him without touching him, earning the Algerian forward the first yellow card of the match for simulation.
Al Sadd would pick up two more yellow cards before the end of the half, with Boualem Khoukhi and Pedro Miguel being booked for hard fouls in the 37th and 41st minutes respectively. Al Sadd had a good chance in the 43rd minute when Akram Afif was played in but César Montes was able to clear the ball off of his foot before he was able to get a shot off.
Then as the clock struck 45 Gabi tried a back pass toward the goalkeeper from the halfway line. Rogelio Funes Mori read it perfectly, got on it, and calmly slotted it past goalkeeper Saad Al-Sheeb to give Monterrey the 2-0 lead.
Going into the half, Al Sadd had a good chance on a corner kick but Barovero was able to clear the ball off of the line with the assistance of the post. On the restart after the half, Al Sadd tested Barovero with a quick shot but he was able to stop it cold. In the 50th minute, Rayados were able to make a fantastic break and Dorlan Pabón hit a shot that just whistled past the far post.
In the 58th minute Funes Mori was played in on a fantastic ball but Al-Sheeb was there to make a sliding stop. Rayados looked calm and comfortable against the Qatari side, with the many fans in attendance giving out spirited “Olé!” chants when they passed the ball during stretches of possession.
Al Sadd had a good chance in the 64th when some fantastic ball movement allowed Afif some space to shoot, but it was well high of the crossbar. Then two minutes later a pinpoint pass from Hassan Al-Haidos found the head of Baghdad Bounedjah, and the header beat Barovero to draw the hosts within one.
The goal gave Al Sadd much needed life, and the stadium once again sprung to life outside of the confines of the Rayados supporters’ section. It wouldn’t last though, as in the 76th minute Jesús Gallardo did well to steal the ball and evade defenders before leaving a touch pass that allowed Carlos Rodríguez to hit a laser into the back of the net from close range to restore the two goal lead.
¡Llegó el tercero de @Rayados! 'Charly' Rodríguez le pegó muy fuerte contra el travesaño y puso el tercero del equipo mexicano #MDCenFD @RodolfoLanderos @SirJohnLaguna @marianot19 pic.twitter.com/i4OLp6ol1r— FOX Deportes (@FOXDeportes) December 14, 2019
South Korean forward Jung Woo-young almost snatched one back for Al Sadd in the 80th minute but his knuckling shot from distance swerved just wide of the net. Then at the other end in the 83rd Gallardo hit a pass over to Funes Mori, but Al-Sheeb was able to come over and stop it. Al-Sheeb would come out moments later when a nagging arm injury proved too much. 21 year old Meshaal Barsham would take his place in goal.
In the 88th minute, Abdelkarim Hassan would get a pass and be given time and space and he hit it with real venom, beating Barovero to once again pull the hosts within one goal.
In the third minute of stoppage, Rayados had a good opportunity but Meshaal Barsham made a good save to keep his team in it, but the hosts couldn’t equalize. Monterrey will face England’s Liverpool in the next round, while Al Sadd will face Tunisian side Esperance in the fifth place match.
Monterrey: Marcelo Barovero; Stefan Medina, César Montes (José María Basanta, 86’), Nicolás Sánchez, Leonel Vangioni; Jonathan González, Carlos Rodríguez; Rodolfo Pizarro (Miguel Layún, 80’), Jesús Gallardo, Dorlan Pabón (Maximilian Meza, 73’); Rogelio Funes Mori
Al Sadd: Saad Al-Sheeb (Meshaal Barsham, 85’); Hassan Al-Haidos, Boualem Khoukhi, Tarek Salman, Pedro Miguel; Abdelkarim Hassan, Gabi, Nam Tae-hee, Salem Al-Hajri (Jung Woo-young, 71’); Akram Afif, Baghdad Bounedjah
Scoring: Monterrey - Leonel Vangioni (23’), Rogelio Funes Mori (45+1’), Carlos Rodríguez (77’); Al Sadd - Baghdad Bounedjah (66’), Abdelkarim Hassan (89’)
Disciplinary: Monterrey - Jonathan González (Yellow - 55’), Nicolás Sánchez (Yellow - 61’); Al Sadd - Baghdad Bounedjah (Yellow - 31’), Boualem Khoukhi (Yellow - 37’), Pedro Miguel (Yellow - 41’), Tarek Salman (Yellow - 75’)