A year ago, Mexican side Monterrey dropped out of the FIFA Club World Cup after the heartbreak of a penalty shootout defeat to Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol. For Monterrey's coach, Victor Vucetich, the experience was invaluable in preparations for this year's competition.
A Cesar Delgado double and an early effort from Jesus Corona gave Monterrey a commanding 3-1 win over Ulsan Hyundai in the quarterfinal, setting up a tantalizing date with Chelsea in the semifinals, as Monterrey got over the initial hump in its second try in as many years.
"Our first aim was to reach the next stage," Vucetich said at his post-match conference. "We lost by penalty kicks last year against Kashiwa Reysol, but I am very happy we achieved our aim in this year. The experience helped us very much.
"This time, we had much more time to prepare and did analysis on the Korean opposition a month in advance. Last year against Kashiwa, it just three or four days before. This year, we were in good condition for the game."
Vucetich also mentioned that he was counting on the experience of his international stars like Argentinian Delgado to help overcome its next opponent.
"Chelsea are a very famous team in the world, but we want to do our best," he added. "We want to play again like we did in today's game. We also have players with international experience who will be important."
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