Monterrey took the lead but couldn’t hold it as Cruz Azul came back for a 2-1 victory against the 10-man Rayados. The result keeps La Máquina perfect at home this season with seven straight wins, while Monterrey saw their two-game unbeaten streak halted.
The game started off at a good pace, with both sides coming out attacking. The game was an end-to-end affair for the first 15 minutes, and then Monterrey took the lead from a set piece. The visitors won a free kick a long way out, but distance proved no obstacle as César Montes headed home the service to make it 0-1 for the Rayados.
The goal was just about Montes’s last contribution to the game, however, as the defender was subbed out in the 19th minute due to the occurrence of a nagging muscle injury.
Then, in the 21st minute, Cruz Azul won a corner kick, during which Igor Lichnovsky was fouled in the box. The hosts were awarded a penalty kick, and Elías Hernández sent Marcelo Barovero the wrong way as he made it 1-1 from the spot.
The game quickly took yet another turn for the worse for Monterrey, as Rogelio Funes Mori was red-carded for a foul on Iván Marcone in the 23rd minute, leaving the Rayados to see out the majority of the game with just 10 men.
Monterrey went into a more defensive posture after that, as they looked to contain Cruz Azul and then strike themselves on the counter. Their quick counterattacks nearly worked, but Jesús Corona was able to make the save on Dorlan Pabón.
The decisive goal finally fell in Cruz Azul’s favor in the 70th minute, and yet again it was the result of a set piece. Adrián Aldrete sent in a free kick and Édgar Méndez headed it home to make it 2-1 for the hosts.
With the 2-1 win, Cruz Azul reaches 26 points while Monterrey still has 20.
Cruz Azul: José de Jesús Corona, Pablo Aguilar, Julio César Domínguez, Igor Lichnovsky, Adrián Aldrete, Elías Hernández (Javier Salas 84′), Édgar Mendez, Rafael Baca, Iván Marcone (Andrés Rentería 60′), Roberto Alvarado, Martín Cauteruccio (Martín Zúñiga 90′).
Monterrey: Marcelo Barovero, César Montes (Johan Vásquez 19′), Nicolás Sánchez, Leonel Vangioni (Luis Madrigal 80′), John Stefan Medina, Celso Ortiz, Jesús Gallardo, Jesús Molina (Avilés Hurtado 73′), Jonathan González, Rogelio Funes Mori, Dorlan Pabón.