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Saturday, November 13, 2010
Pachuca's Club Cup opener: Mazembe

By Scott French

Pachuca is awaiting results Saturday evening and Sunday to discover if it's headed to the Mexican Primera Division's Apertura playoffs, but they've learned who they'll open against in next month's FIFA Club World Cup.


TP Mazembe, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, routed Tunisia's Esperance to win its second successive African Champions League title and advance to the Dec. 8-18 club world championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Mazembe won on aggregate, 6-1, after a 1-1 draw in Saturday's second leg. The Africans will face Pachuca in a Dec. 10 quarterfinal, with the winner advancing to face Brazil's Internacional, the Copa Libertadores winner, in a Dec. 14 semifinal.

Mazembe lost to South Korea's Pohang Steelers in the Club World Cup quarterfinals last year.

Pachuca, which won its Apertura regular-season finale Friday, will reach the eight-team Liguilla if UANL Tigres fails to beat Atlas on Saturday or if Pumas UNAM fails to beat America on Sunday. The Tuzos, whose roster includes Americans Herculez Gomez, Jose Francisco Torres and Marco Antonio Vidal, qualified for the Club World Cup by winning the CONCACAF Champions League title last spring.

The field was completed Saturday, with South Korea's Seongnam Ilhwa beating Iran's Zob Ihan, 3-1, in the Asian Champions League title game.


The full schedule:

First round
Dec. 8:
Al Wahda (United Arab Emirates) vs. Hekari United (Papua New Guinea)

Quarterfinals
Dec. 10:
Pachuca (Mexico) vs. TP Mazembe (DR Congo)
Dec. 11: Seongnam Ilhwa (South Korea) vs. Al Wahda/Hekari United

Semifinals
Dec. 14:
Internacional (Brazil) vs. Pachuca/TP Mazembe
Dec. 15: Inter Milan (Italy) vs. Seongnam Ilhwa/Al Wahda/Hekari United

Finals
Dec. 15:
Fifth-place match
Dec. 18: Championship and third-place match

UPDATE: Pachuca clinched a Mexican Primera Division playoff berth when UANL Tigres managed only a 2-2 draw Saturday with Atlas. Jaguares also claimed a spot with a 1-1 draw at Gallos Blancos. The final berth will go to Pumas UNAM if it beats America on Sunday and Tigres if Pumas does not win.