The past few editions of the Club World Cup had been a bit underwhelming for Liga MX sides. Whether it be the travel or lacking interest, Liga MX teams could and should be doing much better. However, the 2017 edition finally was a bit of a change from recent history.
Pachuca had a tough semifinal loss to Gremio, only losing 0-1 in extra time. It was a match in which Pachuca had a lot of opportunities to win, yet, it wasn’t meant to be. Their third place match against Al-Jazira was a chance to at least grab hold of a respectable standing at the end of the tournament.
In the 37th minute, Franco Jara found Jonathan Urretaviscaya for the goal. It put Pachuca up 1-0 at half, but Al-Jazira, who fought Real Madrid in a close 1-2 loss, was not ready to be put to sleep. It was Khalfan Mubarak who slotted home the equalizer after several sloppy plays by Pachuca.
It only took three minutes, though, for Pachuca to regain the lead with a goal from Franco Jara.
The moment of the match was when youngster Roberto de la Rosa was subbed in during the 78th minute and scored a goal to put Los Tuzos up 3-1 only one minute after entering the game. Moreover, he was assisted by another young Pachuca midfielder Erick Sanchez.
Pachuca was able to see out the game in a 4-1 thrashing of Al-Jazira. The old lazy play of Liga MX sides of the past finally was gone, and although the Mexican side was unable to reach the final, there’s hope that the next Liga MX representative to play in the tournament will have their sights set on something big.