Pachuca win Concacaf title to book place at FIFA Club World Cup 2025. GETTY IMAGES

Mexican outfit Pachuca secured their sixth CONCACAF Champions Cup by defeating Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew 3-0 on Saturday, which means they will compete for the FIFA Club World Cup 2025.

It was Mexico's sixth title, having won in 2002, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2017. They will also be part of the new FIFA Intercontinental Cup. Venezuelan Salomon Rondon scored a brace in the 12th and 67th minute, despite Emilio Rodriguez added a 34th-minute consolation.

"Pachuca gave me the chance to redeem myself and now I'm a CONCACAF champion. I'm very happy." Rondon said after the match. "I'm also the tournament's top scorer (9 goals), but it's a credit to the whole team," added the 34-year-old Venezuelan striker, who was also named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

The CONCACAF title means they qualify for the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup, joining both Monterrey and Leon of Mexico and Seattle Sounders of the United States, all of whom qualified through the tournament.

They will also take part in the revamped Intercontinental Cup, where they will face Real Madrid, who also won the Champions League by beating Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. The "Tuzos" will take part as one of the champions of the seven continental confederations.

Uruguayan Guillermo Almada, Pachuca's head coach, was delighted with his side's qualification for the upcoming Club World Cup, which will see the tournament expanded to a 32-team format.

"Playing in the Club World Cup is one of the greatest goals any footballer or coach can have. We will represent Mexico and try to do so with dignity," Almada told a news conference.

This is the Pachuca team that defeated the Columbus Crew in the 2024 CONCACAF final. GETTY IMAGES
This is the Pachuca team that defeated the Columbus Crew in the 2024 CONCACAF final. GETTY IMAGES

A final is a game where a lot can happen. The Gold and Black took the initiative and deserved to open the scoring early on. But the day was made for Pachuca.

Pachuca went 1-0 up in the 12th minute when Colombian Nelson Deossa slipped the ball to Rondon. The 'King' Salomon raced into the area and slotted the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper.

The hosts made it 2-0 in the 34th minute when Erick Sanchez found Rodriguez in the Crew area. The striker slotted the ball past the Columbus goalkeeper. Rondon later made it 3-0 with a half-volley from the centre of the box that found the inside of the left post.

In his post-match press conference, Columbus Crew coach Wilfried Nancy acknowledged Pachuca's superiority and lamented his side's lack of finishing. "A 3-0 is a 3-0. We had a lot of chances to score. We just didn't finish," he said. 

Nancy revealed that his team had been affected by gastrointestinal problems. "My players gave it their all even though they were sick. The whole team has had diarrhoea since yesterday, including the coaching staff."

In the revamped and reformed Intercontinental Cup, Real Madrid will be the first European club to compete. The Intercontinental Cup is part of a calendar reform that has seen the creation of an expanded version of the Club World Cup, which will debut in the United States in 2025 with a new format featuring 32 teams instead of the current seven.

Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates, Al Ahly of Egypt and Auckland of New Zealand had all won their confederations' titles before this weekend. A few hours after Real Madrid's triumph, Mexico's Pachuca were crowned champions of Concacaf (North, Central America and the Caribbean). They beat Columbus Crew of the United States 3-0 in the final.

Salomon Rondon lifts the Champions' Cup trophy. Named best player of the final. GETTY IMAGES
Salomon Rondon lifts the Champions' Cup trophy. Named best player of the final. GETTY IMAGES

Of the six teams competing in the new Intercontinental Cup, only one remains to be decided: the South American champions, who will be the winners of this year's Copa Libertadores. The draw for the last 16 will be made on Monday.

Pachuca has won the Mexican league seven times and the CONCACAF Champions League six times. In 2006, they won the Copa Sudamericana, becoming the only team in the world to win an official tournament sanctioned by FIFA outside their confederation. 

They are the team with the most football schools in Mexico and the first Mexican club to have participated four times in the FIFA Club World Cup. In 2017, they achieved third place in the the said competition, matching the second-best performance by a CONCACAF team up to that point.

CONCACAF overall winners
Club America - 7
Pachuca - 6
Cruz Azul - 6
Monterrey - 5
Pumas/Saprissa - 3