Penalty kicks were all that separated Kashiwa Reysol and Monterrey on Sunday, as the CONCACAF Champions were relegated to the consolation game after losing their first match at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.
The two sides played to a 1-1 draw in regulation through goals from Leandro Domingues and Humberto Suazo, but Kashiwa were the better side in the subsequent shootout, moving on in the competition with a 4-3 advantage from the spot.
Kashiwa, who defeated Auckland City FC to advance to the quarterfinals, will meet Brazilian giants Santos in the semifinals, while Ricardo Osorio and Monterrey will conclude their participation with a matchup against Espérance Sportive de Tunis on Wednesday.
Despite putting the tournament hosts under early pressure, mostly through Suazo, Monterrey found themselves with a deficit to make up early in the second half.
Domingues, the J.League player of the year, opened the scoring in the 53rd minute with a superb volley that left goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco flailing. Junya Tanaka found enough space down the right flank to chip the ball toward the Brazilian forward at the near post and Domingues did the rest, sending an acrobatic shot inside the far stick.
Not to be outdone, Suazo – who was a menace all night for the Mexican side – evened matters five minutes later. César Delgado’s pass to the back post was well measured, and the Chilean timed his run perfectly, leaving Kashiwa ‘keeper Takanori Sugeno with no chance as he slid in to put the ball in the roof of the net.
Neither side could muster a winner, though, sending the match to spot kicks.
Sugeno began proceedings by saving Luis Pérez’s attempt, and Kashiwa didn’t look back. Orozco managed to beat away Tanaka’s effort, giving los Rayados some hope, but smashed his own try off the post as the hosts advanced to the semifinals.