Club World Cup: Chelsea to Face Monterrey in Semis

09 Dec 2012

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Interim Blues manager Rafael Benitez

Chelsea will play Mexican club Monterrey in the semi-finals of the Club World Cup in Japan on Thursday.

Monterrey will play the European champions after beating South Korean club Ulsan Hyundai 3-1.

African champions Al-Ahly, from Egypt, beat Sanfrecce Hiroshima, of Japan, 2-1 to set up a last four meeting against South American victors Corinthians, reports the BBC.

The Club World Cup is contested between the winners of FIFA's six confederations plus a host nation team.

Monterrey, who are the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) champions, beat Asian champions Ulsan with Jesus Corona opening the scoring.

Cesar Delgado added two more for the Mexican side before Lee Keun-ho netted a consolation strike.

"If we can play like we did [against Ulsan] against Chelsea we will have a chance," said Monterrey coach Victor Vucetich.

"Last year we lost in the quarter-finals here because we didn't have time to prepare. This year we had plenty of time to get ready for this match."

Chelsea were last week knocked out of this season's Champions League despite thrashing Nordsjaelland 6-1 in their final group game and they followed that with a 3-1 victory at Sunderland on Saturday - their first win in eight Premier League outings.

Interim Blues manager Rafael Benitez, who took over from Roberto Di Matteo in November, is hoping to use the Club World Cup to change his team's fortunes.

"The team still can improve, so it's a question of time," said Benitez, who lost in the final of the competition with Liverpool in 2005 but won it five years later with Inter Milan.

"Training sessions before games, you have just two or three sessions and you cannot improve everything that you want to improve.

"But we will have more time, maybe, in Japan, three days in the hotel. We can talk, we can analyse more things and little by little, they will get to the level at which we want to see them."

Tags: Sports, World, CLUB, Cup, CHELSEA, MONTERRY

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