[CLUB WORLD CUP]
On a rainy night in Tokyo, Copa Libertadores winner LDU Quito scored twice within the first half hour to knock Concacaf's representative
Pachuca out of the Club World Cup at the semifinal stage. LDU now faces either Manchester United or Gamba Osaka in Sunday's final.
In a lively, end-to-end first half, the
Ecuadorian side took a fortuitous fourth minute lead when Argentine striker Claudio Bieler
, after being thwarted at the first attempt, exploited a rebound off
a Pachuca defender to slide the ball home. Then in the 26th minute, Luis Bolanos
converted a curling free kick from just outside the penalty area, though
Pachuca vehemently argued against the handball decision it was awarded for.
Pachuca had a couple of clear opportunities before halftime, but in the second half both the quality
of its chances and the quality of the game deteriorated in the poor weather.
Texan Francisco Torres
was in the thick of the action for Pachuca
and had one of its best chances in the first half.
"The team showed their discipline and potential today," said LDU coach Edgardo
. "We're happy as we performed without compromising our own style of play. Seeing as we've made it to the final, we're one of the top two teams in the world, which is a
great honor for us and for Ecuador. Now, we want to go on and become champions."
His Pachuca counterpart, Enrique Meza,
in defeat. "Liga de Quito deserved their victory today," he said. "They were better and more forceful than us, and they took their chances very well. Our work and possession counted
for nothing because we couldn't put away our opportunities."
It will play the losing team in the other semifinal in a third-place playoff prior to Sunday's final.