Club World Cup: Cruz Azul, Auckland City advance to face Real Madrid, San Lorenzo in semifinals


A Mexican and New Zealand side moved one step closer to world domination the top of the club soccer mountain on Saturday as Mexican powerhouse Cruz Azul and New Zealand heavyweights Auckland City advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 Club World Cup, which is being played this week in two Moroccan host cities.

CONCACAF Champions League winners Cruz Azul defeated AFC Champions League winners Western Sydney Wanderers, 3-1 after extra time, on a heavily waterlogged playing surface at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, to set up a date with reigning European champions Real Madrid on Tuesday (2:30 pm ET).

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La Maquina found themselves on the bring of elimination with just one minute of regular time to be played when 35-year-old Geraro Torrado stepped up to the penalty spot and equalized in the 89th minute. Argentine forward Mariano Pavone provided Cruz Azul with the game-winning goal, a rebound thumped into an empty net in the 108th minute. Torrado completes the scoring, from the spot again in the 118th minute.

Italian midfieler Iacopo La Rocca had put the Australian side up after 65 minutes with a low, powerful drive from 30 yards out.

Auckland City knocked off CAF Champions League winners, Algerian side ES Setif, and advanced to their quarterfinal date (Wednesday, 2:30 pm ET) with Copa Libertadores winners San Lorenzo by way of a John Irving goal in the 65th minute.

The third- (11:30 am ET) and first-place games (2:30 pm ET) will be played next Sunday.