Monterrey saw off a comeback attempt by Al Sadd to earn a 3-2 victory against the Qatari team in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup quarterfinals.
Monterrey, representing CONCACAF, was making their debut in the tournament, while Al Sadd was coming off a victory against  in the play-in round. Despite Al Sadd’s home-field advantage, it was Monterrey who took the lead in the 23rd minute. Leonel Vangioni scored a golazo as his left-footed shot from distance went in off the woodwork to make it 1-0 for the Rayados.
The 2019 FIFA Club World Cup got underway in Qatar this week, and CONCACAF representative Monterrey will start their participation on Saturday, entering the tournament in the quarterfinal round.
Their opponent will be Al-Sadd Sports Club, who are representing the host nation and who earned their spot in the quarterfinals with a 3-1 victory in extra time against New Caledonia’s Hienghène Sport in the playoff round.
Al-Sadd qualified for the Club World Cup once before, in 2011, where they finished third. Monterrey will be participating in the tournament for the fourth time; their best finish is likewise third, which they earned in 2012, while in both 2011 and 2013 they finished fifth.
América earned a 2-0 victory against Monarcas Morelia in the second leg of their semifinal series to level the aggregate at 2-2. With away goals not coming into play, the Águilas earned a place in the Gran Final thanks to the higher-seed tiebreaker.
América came into this one needing to score at least two goals, and they went on the attack from the beginning. The breakthrough came in the 37th minute, when Renato Ibarra’s shot from outside the box took a deflection off the defense and beat Sebastián Sosa to make it 1-0 (1-2 aggregate).
The Apertura 2019 Gran Final is set, and it’ll be 6th-seeded América taking on 8th-seeded Monterrey.
América reached the final after comebacks against Tigres UANL in the quarterfinals and Monarcas Morelia in the semis, while Monterrey got there by upsetting superlíder Santos in the quarterfinals before beating Necaxa in the semis.
Due to Monterrey’s participation in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup, where they’ll be representing the confederation after winning the CONCACAF Champions League, the Liga MX playoff schedule had to be adjusted.
The Rayados will host the first leg on December 26th, while América will host the return leg on December 29th.
Monterrey scored late in stoppage time to beat Necaxa 1-0 on the right and assure their spot in the Gran Final with a 3-1 aggregate victory. The Rayados’ win means there will be an adjustment to the playoff schedule, since they’ll be playing in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup next week; as a result, the Liga MX final will be delayed by two weeks and played on December 26th and 29th.
The pressure was on Necaxa in this one; they needed to score to advance, while Monterrey would go through with a 0-0 draw. Nevertheless, it was the visitors who looked more dangerous in the attack. In the 14th minute, Jesús Gallardo was denied by the offside flag as Monterrey looked to seal the series.
While both teams finished the first leg of this semifinal series with 10 men, Morelia had a numerical advantage for most of the second half and they made it count as they grabbed a 2-0 victory against América.
Morelia came out attacking as they looked to make their home-field advantage count, and they had some early chances, most notably when Edison Flores tested Memo Ochoa in the 8th minute. Then, in the 16th, Rodrigo Millar played Luis Mendoza in behind the defense; he drove towards goal and then slid the ball across the top of the six-yard box for Fernando Aristeguieta, who stabbed it home.
Among numerous controversies including player complaints of unpaid salaries totaling nearly 40 million pesos (about $207,000 U.S.), the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) and Liga MX have taken the step of disaffiliating Veracruz.
The Tiburones Rojos are no longer part of the league, effective immediately; all players, from the first team, the women’s team, and the youth teams, are all free agents and can sign with any other team.
With Veracruz no longer in Liga MX, the Clausura 2020 will be played with 18 teams and there will be no relegation at the end of the season – although promotion from Ascenso MX will still be in effect, as Liga MX continues to work towards a stable 20-team first division.
Monterrey took, lost, and regained the lead as they beat Necaxa 2-1 in the first leg of their Apertura 2019 semifinal series.
Necaxa had the best road record in the league in the regular season – with six wins from nine games – and they came out attacking as they looked to keep their good road form going in this one. But after a promising five minutes from the Rayos, Monterrey took control of the game and they took the lead in the 10th minute.
The Disciplinary Committee has suspended one player following the second legs of the Apertura 2019 quarterfinals.
The lone sanction was given to Luis Romo of Querétaro, who was suspended one game for serious foul play. Since the Gallos Blancos were eliminated from the playoffs, Romo will serve his suspension during the first game of the Clausura 2020 season.