Pachuca wins CONCACAF crown

April 29, 2010, 12:19 AM

By: Scott French

Edgar Benitez's goal two minutes into stoppage carried Pachuca to its third CONCACAF club title in four years while extending Mexican Primera Division rival Cruz Azul's agony.

Benitez took a backheel flick from Ulises Mendivil off Damian Alvarez's pass, took a step into the Cruz Azul box and fired past Jose Corona to give Pachuca a 1-0 victory in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final.



Pachuca captain Miguel Calero lifts the trophy after his team won the CONCACAF Champions League crown.

The final aggregate was 2-2 -- Cruz Azul won its home leg, 2-1, a week ago -- and Pachuca prevailed on away goals, 1-0.

"When we saw the ball hit the net, it was madness," Pachuca coach Guillermo Rivarola told CONCACAF's website. "There was tons of emotion. We all wanted to hug each other as the goal gave us the championship and the ticket to the Club World Cup. I really can't describe it."

Pachuca, which opens the Mexican Clausura playoffs Saturday at Monterrey, is the first team to qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup, which will be played in December in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Cruz Azul, a Mexico City club that has won five club titles in CONCACAF, the region covering North and Central America and the Caribbean, last won a trophy in December 1997. It has played in five finals since, losing all of them.

The Cementeros lost to fellow Mexicans Atlante in last year's CONCACAF Champions League final and to Monterrey in the Mexican Apertura final last fall. They were eliminated from Clausura playoff contention with a draw last week with Guadalajara.


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