Thursday 27 April 2017, 18:48

Pachuca secure Club World Cup return

  • Los Tuzoshave now won the continental title five times

  • Franco Jara named player of the tournament after scoring the winner

  • Pachuca qualify for their fourth FIFA Club World Cup

Pachuca will be back on the FIFA Club World Cup stage this year after overcoming Tigres in the final of the CONCACAF Champions League. With the tie evenly poised after last week’s 1-1 draw in Monterrey, Los Tuzos maintained their long unbeaten record at the Estadio Hidalgo – where they have not lost in any competition since 16 January 2015 – striking late on to make the trophy theirs.

The decisive goal came with only seven minutes remaining, when Tigres keeper Nahuel Guzman could only parry Hirving Lozano’s fierce drive, allowing Franco Jara to score the only goal of the night from close range and give Pachuca their second continental title of the Champions League era and a ticket to UAE 2017.

Tournament facts and figures Five finals, five titles Pachuca have never lost a final in the competition, winning three in the Champions Cup era and two since it was renamed the Champions League.

The mark of champions Pachuca lost just one of their ten matches en route to the title: a 2-1 defeat at FC Dallas in the first leg of the semi-finals, a deficit they overturned with a 3-1 win at home.

Fortress Hidalgo Los Tuzos are unbeaten in the 15 matches they have played at their stadium in the history of the competition.

Club World Cup number four Pachuca will be making their fourth appearance at the FIFA Club World Cup, their first having come in 2007 and their last in 2010. Their best performance to date came in 2008, when they finished fourth.

Mexicans on top again Twenty-four teams from 12 countries took part in this season’s Champions League, which began on 2 August 2016 and has seen a Mexican club lift the trophy yet again.

Familiar feeling for Tigres For the second year running, Tigres came off second best in the final. The Monterrey side, who went down to Club America last season, have yet to win an international trophy and have now lost three finals in a row, an unwanted run that began with defeat to River Plate in the 2015 Copa Libertadores.

Semis and out for MLS’ finest MLS clubs FC Dallas and Vancouver Whitecaps reached the last four but were unable to emulate Salt Lake City and Montreal Impact, the only two sides from the league to have made the final in the Champions League era.

The stat 29 -the number of goals Pachuca racked up in ten matches, making them the tournament’s highest scorers this year, though nearly half of those goals came in the 11-0 defeat of Belize’s Police United in the group phase. Lozano was the competition’s leading scorer with eight goals, followed by tournament MVP Jara, who struck six in total, including the all-important winner in the final.

What they said “I’m happy. We’re living a dream and it’s not over yet. The Club World Cup is an obsession of mine. We knew we had this opportunity, we set ourselves the objective of making it to the competition, and now we want to go there and truly compete.” Pachuca’s Uruguayan coach Diego Alonso