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Necaxa Advances to FIFA Club World Championship with 2-1 Victory over Alajuela

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (Sunday, October 3, 1999) - Necaxa of Mexico advanced to the inaugural FIFA Club World Championship in Brazil with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Alajuela of Costa Rica in the blistering 100-plus degree temperatures today at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Necaxa earns one of eight spots in the prestigious tournament as representatives of The Football Confederation (formerly CONCACAF, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Football).

Alex Aguinaga completed his tournament MVP performance with a flying scissor-kick volley from 10 yards out on a perfectly placed cross from the ubiquitous Edgar David Oliva to tie the score at 1-1.

The winning goal came in the 66th minute for Necaxa after tournament goal leader Agustin Delgado hit a cross from the left wing that was redirected on goal by Oliva. Oliva's touch deflected off Alajuela goalkeeper Alvaro Messen to the center of the goalkeeper area where an onrushing Sergio Vasquez slammed it home.

Alajuela jumped out in front on a 35th-minute penalty kick goal from Josef Miso, after the forward was tripped at the edge of the penalty area by Necaxa defender Jaime Hernandez. The Costa Rican club could have went ahead 2-1 just one minute after the ejection of Necaxa midfielder German Villa in the 56th minute, but Josef Miso missed a penalty kick after being fouled a second time in the box by Hernandez.

In the third place match, D.C. United and the Chicago Fire shared honors after a spirited 2-2 draw which saw the Fire come from two goals down in the second half behind strikes from Ante Razov and Jesse Marsch. D.C. United got goals from A.J. Wood and Antonio Otero to jump ahead 2-0.

FIFA CLUB WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP DRAW ON OCTOBER 14 IN BRAZIL: The draw for the first edition of the inaugural FIFA Club World Championship in Brazil from January 5-14, 2000, will take place at the Golden Room of the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro on October 14, 1999. The eight participating teams will be divided into two groups of four with the group winners meeting in the final and the group runners-up meeting in the third place match.

Region Club Qualified
TFC Necaxa (Mexico) Winner of the 1999 CONCACAF Champions' Cup
AFC Al-Nasr (Saudi Arabia) Winner of the 1998 Asian Super Cup
CAF *TBD* Winner of the African Champions' League 1999 (decided 12/12/99)
CONMEBOL Vasco da Gama (Brazil) Winner of the 1998 Copa Libertadores
OFC South Melbourne (Australia) Winner of the 1999 Oceania Champions Cup
OEFA Manchester United (England) Winner of the 1999 Champions' League
Toyota Cup Real Madrid (Spain) Winner of the 1998 Toyota Cup
Brazil Cotinthians (Brazil) Champions of Brazilian League (host country)

GOLD CUP '99 PLAYOFF CREDENTIALS AVAILABLE: Media requesting credentials for the 2000 Gold Cup '99 Playoffs in Los Angeles (Oct. 6-10), can pick up their credentials at InterAmerica Soccer Club (1541 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 300; Los Angeles). Please call 213/413-3951 for more information (213/413-7026 fax).