Monterrey looked much the better side in the first half, as they controlled possession and generated dangerous chances through Dorlan Pabón, Edwin Cardona, and Rogelio Funes Mori. Óscar Pérez was forced into several good saves, including an impressive double-save in the 26th minute.
But the breakthrough seemed inevitable, and just before halftime the Rayados took the lead. In the 44th minute, Carlos Sánchez found Pabón and the Colombian sent his shot into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
Pachuca had fielded a largely alternative squad for this game, with an eye on their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal in midweek, but Diego Alonso turned to his bench early in the second half to introduce the likes of Hirving Lozano and Franco Jara as he looked to get something out of this game.
The rhythm of the second half was interrupted repeatedly by fouls, with referee Diego Montaño Robles handing out six yellow cards in the final thirty minutes. The poor state of the field also had an impact on the game.
Nevertheless, Pachuca did create a few goal-scoring opportunities, although none of them were particularly clear-cut. Although Monterrey was unable to add to their lead, their defense ensured they didn’t need to.
With the 1-0 win, Monterrey reaches 13 points while Pachuca still has 11.
Monterrey: Hugo González, César Montes, Iván Piris, Edgar Castillo, José María Basanta, Jesús Molina, Celso Ortiz, Carlos Sánchez (Yimmi Chara 81′), Edwin Cardona (Arturo González 68′), Dorlan Pabón (Efraín Juárez 90′), Rogelio Funes Mori.
Pachuca: Óscar Pérez, Emmanuel García, Óscar Murillo, John Stefan Medina, Raúl López, Jorge Hernández, Erick Aguirre, Víctor Guzmán, Roberto Alvarado (Jonathan Urretaviscaya 54′), Sergio Vergara (Hirving Lozano 55′), Braian Rodríguez (Franco Jara 60′).