Árabe Unido booked their spot in the knockout rounds of the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League with a 2-1 win over Monterrey. The loss mathematically eliminates the Rayados with a game still to play in Group D.
Monterrey were obligated to win this match and they came out looking to take control early on. The visitors had more of the ball, but the Panamanians stood firm defensively while using dangerous counterattacks to keep Monterrey cautious of throwing too many numbers forward.
As the half wore on, the Rayados lost some of their early cohesion and Árabe Unido took advantage to open the scoring just before halftime. In the 42nd minute, Joseph Cox finished off a corner kick to make it 1-0 for the hosts.
They added an insurance goal just moments into the second half when José González got around a pair of defenders before beating Alexander Domínguez from the edge of the box to make it 2-0 in the 46th minute.
Monterrey looked for a response and in the 55th minute they reduced the deficit through César Montes, who pounced on a loose ball in the six-yard box to make it 2-1.
Árabe Unido could have gone down to 10 men in the 72nd minute after a late, studs-up tackle on Yimmi Chara, but only a yellow card was shown.
Monterrey was ultimately unable to find an equalizer, let alone the comeback win they needed to remain alive, as the three-time CCL champion bowed out in the group stage.
With the 2-1 win, Árabe Unido reaches nine points while Monterrey remains on three.
Árabe Unido: Miguel Lloyd Troncoso, Ángel Patrick (Rigoberto Niño 46′), Fidel Caesar, Azmahar Navarro, Daniel Ortiz, Yoel Bárcenas (Edson Samms 77′), Amilcar Henríquez, Abdiel Macea, Josimar Gómez (Luis Pereira 66′), José González, Joseph Cox.
Monterrey: Alexander Domínguez, Efraín Juárez, César Montes, Iván Piris (Santiago Rivera 33′), Walter Ayoví, Carlos Sánchez, Hiram Mier, Walter Gargano, Edwin Cardona (Ángel López 52′), Aldo de Nigris (Arturo González 77′), Yimmi Chara.
Group Table – Group D