This morning's defeat to Auckland City has been labelled a "disaster" by Cruz Azul skipper Gerarado Torrado.

The ASB Premiership team claimed third place in the Fifa Club World Cup, beating the North American champions on penalties after the match was level at 1-1 after 90 minutes.

It's another extraordinary achievement for the Oceania Champions and Torrado's reaction sums up the sentiment, as Mexican football tries to digest this result.

"We are embarrassed - this is a disaster," he told Mexican television immediately after the game.


"It was very important to take third place so to end up in fourth is very bad."

Torrado has done it all in Mexican football. The 35-year-old is a veteran of three World Cups, won the Confederations Cup on home soil in 1999, has 146 caps for El Tri and also spent five years in La Liga but ends his first Club World Cup campaign on a low.

This tournament was a big deal in Mexico; 15 journalists and reporters travelled to Morocco in October just to cover the draw ceremony and expectations were high. Now Cruz Azul have become another victim of the Auckland based club.

Indeed, a question from a Mexican television journalist to the Cruz Azul goal keeper encapsulated the prevailing feeling about the result.

"With all due respect to Auckland City, what is the most painful part about this?" he began. "You have been beaten by a team from Nueva Zealanda - the reporter's voice almost incredulous as he enunciated those five syllables - "or you have finished in fourth place?"

It's fair enough. New Zealand football is little more than a curiosity in Mexico, a belief reinforced by the one sided nature of the World Cup qualifying play-off last year. But one of their most storied teams - boasting a player roster worth tens of millions of dollars - couldn't get the better of an amateur team from Auckland.

It's difficult to make comparisons with rugby - as only about 15 nations across the world take it seriously - but it's a bit like a club team from Spain or Portugal beating the Brumbies.

Today is also probably a small measure of revenge for the `Massacre in the Azteca' last year, with the gulf in talent and step up required today by Auckland City not too dissimilar to what the All Whites had to cope with against Mexico.

The difference came in the planning and preparation of an excellent game plan, which was executed superbly by the Auckland City players.