Dario Cvitanich rescued Pachuca in Wednesday's fifth-place match at the Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. but the Mexican team's triumph on penalty kicks sends CONCACAF home from FIFA's top club competition without a victory for the second time.
Cvitanich scored in the 82nd and 89th minutes to pull Pachuca back from a two-goal deficit in the 2-2 draw with host Al-Wahda, then converted the first spot kick in a 4-2 triumph in the tiebreaker.
Pachuca was one and done in 2007, but it reached the semifinals and finished fourth the following year. Every other CONCACAF entrant has won at least one game.
The Tuzos, who had Americans Herculez Gomez and Jose Francisco "Gringo" Torres in their starting XI Wednesday, can take some comfort from its quarterfinal defeat to TP Mazembe, with the African champion -- from the Democratic Republic of Congo -- becoming the first club not from Europe or South America to reach the title game.
Mazembe stunned Brazil's Internacional, the Copa Libertadores titlist and winner of the Club World Cup in 2006, in the semifinals, claiming a 2-0 victory Tuesday on superb goals by Mulota Kabangu and Congolese national-teamer Dioko Kaluyituka.
UEFA Champions League winner Inter Milan will take on the Africans in Saturday's final in Abu Dhabi after thrashing South Korea's Seongnam Ilhwa, 3-0, in Wednesday's semifinal. Dejan Stankovic, Javier Zanetti and Diego Milito scored the goals.
CONCACAF AT THE CLUB WORLD CUP
2000 (unofficial) -- champion: Corinthians (Brazil)
Necaxa (Mexico) 1, Manchester United (England) 1
Necaxa (Mexico) 3, South Melbourne (Australia) 1
Vasco da Gama (Brazil) 2, Necaxa (Mexico) 1
Necaxa (Mexico) 1, Real Madrid (Spain) 1 (Necaxa finishes third on penalties, 4-2)
2005 -- champion: Sao Paulo (Brazil)
Saprissa (Costa Rica) 1, Sydney FC (Australia) 0
Liverpool (England) 3, Saprissa (Costa Rica) 0
Saprissa (Costa Rica) 3, Al-Ittihad (Saudi Arabia) 2 (Saprissa finishes third)
2006 -- champion: Internacional (Brazil)
America (Mexico) 1, Jeonbuk (South Korea) 0
Barcelona (Spain) 4, America (Mexico) 0
Al-Ahly (Egypt) 2, America (Mexico) 1 (America finishes fourth)
2007 -- champion: AC Milan (Italy)
Etoile Sportive du Sahel (Tunisia) 1, Pachuca (Mexico) 0 (Pachuca finishes outside the top four)
2008 -- champion: Manchester United (England)
Pachuca (Mexico) 4, Al-Ahly (Egypt) 2, OT
LDU Quito (Ecuador) 2, Pachuca (Mexico) 0
Gamba Osaka (Japan) 1, Pachuca (Mexico) 0 (Pachuca finishes fourth)
2009 -- champion: Barcelona (Spain)
Atlante (Mexico) 3, Auckland City (New Zealand) 0
Barcelona (Spain) 3, Atlante (Mexico) 1
Pohang Steelers (South Korea) 1, Atlante (Mexico) 1 (Pohang Steelers finish third on penalties, 4-3; Atlante finishes fourth)
2010 -- champion: Inter Milan (Italy) or TP Mazembe (DR Congo)
TP Mazembe (DR Congo) 1, Pachuca (Mexico) 0
Pachuca (Mexico) 2, Al-Wahda (United Arab Emirates) 2 (Pachuca finishes fifth on penalties, 4-2)