Auckland City ended their historic FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2014 campaign by finishing in third place after defeating CONCACAF champions Cruz Azul 4-2 on penalties.
Cruz Azul got off to a shaky start after Francisco Rodriguez easily lost possession to Fabrizio Tavano, whose shot was saved by an alert Jose Corona in the Cruz Azul goal.
The Mexican side eventually found their confidence and in the tenth minute Joao Rojas narrowly missed at the far post after Alejandro Vela had sent in a cross from the left wing. Ten minutes later, La Maquina (The Machine) had another chance when Marco Fabian's left-footed strike from just inside the box was saved by Auckland City goalkeeper Jacob Spoonley.
The New Zealanders would respond in the 28th minute when Emiliano Tade dribbled past Gerardo Flores in the left side of the box to create space for his powerful right-footed shot, which was saved from a narrow angle by Corona.
Both sides looked to be heading into the break level, however, Ryan de Vries had other plans. In stoppage time, a long diagonal ball from Tade found the 23-year-old who shook off his defender to slot his shot past Corona and give Auckland City a 1-0 lead.
The Mexican side appeared to have their equaliser minutes after the break when Mauro Formica headed in a cross from the right wing, but he was adjudged to be offside. The CONCACAF champions continued to put pressure on the Auckland City goal, and they finally found the equaliser in the 57th minute when Vela's cross from the left wing found Rojas, whose header was initially blocked by Takuya Iwata, but the ball landed at his feet and he made no mistake with his strike.
Cruz Azul continued to pose a threat with possession and just five minutes after their goal, they almost had another when Fabian's spectacular scissor kick was blocked by Auckland City's Darren White. Substitute Christian Gimenez almost gave Cruz Azul the lead in the 73rd minute, but his headed effort went straight into the arms of Spoonley.
Each side would have one more chance, de Vries set up Auckland City's Tim Payne whose shot from the edge of the box was saved by Corona, and Flores crossed from the right side for Formica, whose headed effort was again saved by a sprawling Spoonley to take the game to a penalty shoot-out.
Auckland City held their nerves from the spot and defeated Cruz Azul 4-2 on penalties with Sanni Issa scoring the eventual winner, to become the first Oceanian side to win a medal at the FIFA Club World Cup.