Monterrey line up thrilling Club World Cup semi-final against Liverpool
Mexicans beat Al Sadd to book top tie with European champions
Mexican side Monterrey booked a glamour semi-final clash with European champions Liverpool after beating Al Sadd in 3-2 in a thrilling Club World Cup contest.
Leonel Vangioni put Monterrey ahead after 23 minutes with a spectacular 30-yard strike which went in off the post.
They were 2-0 ahead by half-time after Al Sadd, coached by former Barcelona star Xavi, saw skipper Gabi play a mistimed back pass into the path of Rogelio Funes Mori who went on to score.
Algerian international Baghdad Bounedjah brought the Qataris back into the game just after the hour with a header from 12 yards.
However, Monterrey restored their two-goal cushion after 77 minutes when a fierce drive from Carlos Rodriguez went in off the crossbar.
Abdelkarim Hassan's 25-yard shot in the last minute gave Al Sadd brief hopes of a shock turnaround but Monterrey held on.
The Mexicans will face runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool in the second semi-final on Wednesday.
The first semi-final on Tuesday will feature Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal against Flamengo of Brazil.
Veteran French striker Bafetimbi Gomis came off the bench to score the only goal as Al Hilal defeated African champions Esperance 1-0 in their second round clash earlier Saturday.
Gomis, 34, replaced Gustavo Cuellar in the 65th minute before scoring the only goal of the game eight minutes later.
Former Saint-Etienne, Lyon and Swansea striker Gomis found the target after flicking the ball over the African side's defenders before slotting the ball into the bottom corner.
Al Hilal lost Mohamed Kanno to a red card late in the game.
Updated: December 15, 2019 08:54 AM