Monarcas Morelia took the lead but couldn’t hold it as they fell 1-3 to Toluca in the opening match of the Clausura 2019 season. The Diablos Rojos earned the away win thanks to an Enrique Triverio hat-trick.
The game was full of meaning for the hosts, as Carlos Morales played his last minutes with Morelia. The 39-year-old captain, the last remaining player from the Invierno 2000 team that won Morelia’s lone league title, was honored by the club and the fans before being subbed out in the 9th minute to bring his career to a close.
After the homage to Morales, Morelia went on to take the lead in the 15th minute. Carlos Fierro sent the ball into the box for Miguel Ángel Sansores, whose initial shot was blocked by the keeper. Sansores poked the lose ball back for Ray Sandoval, who had come on minutes earlier in place of Morales, and he made it 1-0 with a powerful low shot.
The lead lasted just four minutes, though, before Toluca made it 1-1. Triverio scored his first goal of the night as he scrambled home a free kick in the 19th minute after the ball pinballed around the box.
In the 32nd minute, it appeared that the Diablos Rojos had made it 1-2 after Sebastián Sosa’s attempted punched clearance went into Richard Ruíz, who bundled the ball over the line. But after consulting VAR, referee Luis Santander disallowed the would-be goal for handball.
Nevertheless, the visitors were able to take the lead before halftime. In the 42nd minute, Triverio made it 1-2 after a defensive miscue allowed the striker to receive a cross unmarked at the top of the six-yard box, where he slotted the ball home to give Toluca the lead.
Morelia looked for a response in the second half and they came close from a corner kick, but William da Silva cleared the ball off the line to deny the hosts the equalizer. Then, Sansores went one-on-one with Alfredo Talavera, but the goalkeeper was able to deny him.
In the 74th minute, Triverio finished off his hat-trick to give Toluca the definitive lead as he headed home a corner kick to make it 1-3. It was a “perfect” hat-trick as well, with Triverio scoring with his right foot, his left foot, and his head.
Morelia was unable to respond as they slumped to their first home loss of the season.
With the 1-3 win, Toluca reaches three points while Morelia still has zero.
Morelia: Sebastián Sosa, Jorge Valadéz, Sebastián Vegas, Gabriel Achilier, Carlos Morales (Ray Sandoval 9′), Jesús González (Rodolfo Vilchis 75′), Carlos Fierro, Edison Flores, Rodrigo Millar (Irven Ávila 67′), Aldo Rocha, Miguel Ángel Sansores.
Toluca: Alfredo Talavera, Santiago García, Osvaldo González, Richard Ruíz (Cristian Borja 81′), Adrián Mora, William da Silva, Antonio Ríos, Pablo Barrientos, Luis Mendoza (Carlos Esquivel 71′), Enrique Triverio, Alexis Canelo (Alan Medina 88′).