Egypt's stuttering side Ahly not only failed to claim a consolation win at the Club World Cup, but also suffered their worst-ever defeat in the tournament after losing 5-1 to Mexico's Monterrey in the fifth-place playoff on Wednesday.
The Cairo giants were ruthlessly punished by Monterrey, who also defeated them in last year's third-place playoff, to finish sixth for the third time in five Club World Cup appearances.
A brace from Cesar Delgado, who took his tally to five goals to become the tournament's all-time top scorer, and strikes from Neri Cardozo, Luis Lopez and Humberto Suazo condemned Ahly to a stunning loss.
Emad Meteb notched Ahly's only goal, which proved largely meaningless as the African champions failed to make up for several injuries which hit their key players lately, including talismanic playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika who is likely to hang up his boots.
Meteb sent a free header just wide after two minutes but it was a rare sight of goal for Ahly, with Monterrey shredding their mean defence to ribbons to run riot.
The Mexicans opened the floodgates one minute later when Cardozo caught Ahly's right-back Ahmed Fathi dozing to ghost behind him and drill a low shot home from inside the area after making the most of a deft pass.
Meteb briefly brought Ahly level with a fine eighth-minute strike, beating the offside trap to neatly control a long ball from left-back Ahmed Shedid and shoot through the legs of keeper Juan de Dios from close range.
But Ahly's defensive frailties still allowed Monterrey to jink into the area far too easily, with the sluggishness of central defensive pair Wael Gomaa and Mohamed Naguib costing them dearly.
Delgado restored Monterrey's advantage midway through the first half when he was found unmarked by a defence-splitting pass to rifle home past Ahly's hapless keeper Sherif Ekramy.
Lopez added the third in the 27th minute with a volley that squirmed beneath Ekramy and Suazo put the result beyond doubt when he converted a penalty on the stroke of halftime after being felled by a clumsy challenge from Gomaa.
Ahly relatively improved in the early stages of the second half, with playmaker Abdallah El-Said forcing a fine save from De Dios with a snapshot.
However, Monterrey still managed to widen the gap with a fifth goal five minutes past the hour mark after the lively Delgado took full advantage of a recurring defensive lapse.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)