Cardenas 'deserves all the credit' for Monterrey win, says Mohamed

By Sports Desk December 21, 2019

Antonio Mohamed says Luis Cardenas "deserves all the credit" for Monterrey's third-place play-off win over Al-Hilal at the Club World Cup after his penalty shoot-out heroics.

Cardenas kept out spot-kicks from Carlos Eduardo and Mohamed Kanno before converting the decisive penalty himself to seal his side's joint-best finish at the tournament.

Monterrey head coach Mohamed was quick to dedicate the victory to his back-up goalkeeper, who came into the side as one of 11 changes from the semi-final loss to Liverpool.

"He deserves all the credit," Mohamed said at his post-match news conference. "We have a tactic for the penalty takers. 

"I gave him the confidence to take it and I'm very happy because the team played with a lot of personality."

Saturday's entertaining match at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar finished 2-2 after 90 minutes.

Arturo Gonzalez and Maximiliano Meza scored quickfire goals early in the second half to cancel out Eduardo's 35th-minute opener, but substitute Bafetimbi Gomis headed in to force penalties.

Monterrey matched their third-place finish off 2012 and Mohamed is pleased with the way his side bounced back from their 2-1 loss to Liverpool in the last round.

"The players gave all they could," he said. "The win brings joy to all those who supported us and believed in us.

"We wanted to play in the final, but I said we could win this match and we did it. I am very happy and proud to belong to Monterrey."

Mohamed's opposite number Razvan Lucescu felt his side's schedule was to blame for their 4-3 shoot-out defeat, but was proud of his side's efforts to reach the last four.

"We were unlucky, but at least the match was good for the spectators," he said. "It's a disappointment, even if it wasn't the same feeling playing for third place.

"We tried our best but in the end the fatigue was felt. The players have had a busy program lately. We showed the world what we can do and I still have goals to achieve with Al-Hilal."

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