Los Tuzos of Pachuca pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in FIFA World Club Championship history to defeat the storied African franchise Al-Ahly 4-2(OT) in Tokyo.
The first half saw Pachuca suffer from sloppy play. First an own goal set Pachuca in the hole 0-1. Then with barely a minute left in the first half Al Ahly, the six-time African Champions pulled off a masterful counter attack as Mohamed Barakat of Egypt cut on the pass cut the ball into Flávio Amado da Silva who scored with Al-Ahly's first shot on target.
Flávio proved once again why—with the possible exceptions of Akwa and Manucho—he is the most dominating Angolan player of the last few years.
The Angolan international and his Egyptian team Al-Ahly which was sitting comfortably on a 2-0 a half time lead.
The Tuzos walked off the field looking like a beaten team. Deja vu was written all over there faces. Last December, Pachuca had lost in thier first ever FIFA Club World Cup appearance when they were defeated 1-0 to Eloile du Sahel, the Tunisian champions.
Mexico's oldest franchise was not done and exploded in the second half. MF Luis Montes scored on a direct free kick only two minutes into the second half.
26 minutes later, from free-kick by Christian Giménez, the Argentinian midfielder deftly curled the ball into the left corner of the net.
Two costly fouls for Ahly had brought Pachuca back into the game and Ahly policed itself and played defensively well enough to force overtime.
In overtime, Pachuca didn't need any breaks as Pachuca's Argentinean stars took over.
Midfielder Damian Alvarez scored in the 98th minute and Christian Giménez scored another beauty in the 110th minute to put a stunning exclamation point to a dramatic comeback for C.F Pachuca.
This marks Al-Ahly's 3rd appearance in the tournament and CF Pachuca's second.
Pachuca will now face LDU Quito of Ecuador in a semifinal match on Wednesday.
Joe Nixon is a freelance journalist who has had print work published in the U.S and Jordan. He also has visited the stadium where the above game took place and it is a beauty!