Monterrey hoping to surprise at Club World Cup
Monterrey captain Luis Perez knows anything can happen at the
Club World Cup and is hoping his team can create some surprises,
starting with Sunday’s quarterfinal against Japanese side Kashiwa
Perez played in the 2000 Club World Cup in Brazil when his
Necaxa team pulled off an upset by beating Real Madrid in a penalty
shootout to win the third-place playoff.
A win against Kashiwa on Sunday would see Mexico’s Monterrey
face South American champions Santos in the semifinals, but Perez
refuses to look beyond his team’s quarterfinal against the J-League
”Before we fight against Santos we need to focus on Kashiwa,”
Perez said. ”Our team is very good at controlling the ball and we
have a very good defense so we have to use this to our advantage
Kashiwa, coached by Brazilian and former Santos player Nelsinho,
beat Oceania representatives Auckland City 2-0 on Thursday to reach
the final eight.
”Kashiwa is a very strong team so it will be a match between
two strong teams,” Monterrey coach Victor Vucetich said. ”The
Japanese team is very organized and disciplined.”
Monterrey collected 16 points from a possible 18 in the group
stage of the CONCACAF Champions League, then beat Real Salt Lake of
the United States 3-2 on aggregate in April’s final to qualify for
the Club World Cup for the first time.
No CONCACAF team has ever reached the final of the Club World
Cup, but Perez thinks his team is capable of making history at this
”Yes, it’s true that a team from the continent has never
reached the final, but we are very motivated and focused and want
to make it to the final,” Perez said. ”We have to win two
matches. I know it is very tough and very challenging, but we have
many skilled players on our team.”
Champions League winner Barcelona and South American champion
Santos of Brazil are the seeded teams in the tournament and enter
in the semifinal stage from Dec. 15.
The Club World Cup, which features seven sides from FIFA’s six
continental confederations, is back in Japan for the first time
since 2008 after two editions in the United Arab Emirates.
African champion Esperance Sportive De Tunis meet Asian
Champions League winner Al-Sadd of Qatar in the second of the two
quarterfinals on Sunday.