Monterrey Is the Apertura 2019 Champion

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Monterrey beat América 4-2 on penalties to claim the Apertura 2019 title following a 3-3 aggregate draw in the Gran Final.

The Rayados had won the first leg, 2-1, but América dominated the second leg. An early would-be goal for the Águilas was disallowed for handball, but they had the ball in the net again minutes later through Federico Viñas; his 5th-minute goal stood to make it 1-0 on the night and 2-2 on aggregate.

América then appeared to take the aggregate lead in the 24th minute through Roger Martínez, but after VAR review the goal was disallowed. The hosts kept pressing, though, and they got their reward in the 40th minute when Richard Sánchez scored from outside the box to make it 2-0 (3-2 aggregate).

Everything seemed to be under control for the Águilas, but that all changed in the 74th minute. Jorge Sánchez whiffed on his attempt to cut out a cross, fell, and let Dorlan Pabón take the ball into the box and find Rogelio Funes Mori, who knocked it home to make it 2-1 (3-3).

Regulation ended with the aggregate tied, and the game proceeded to extra time. Neither team could break the deadlock in the extra half-hour, although América came as close as hitting the crossbar.

Monterrey was up first in the penalty shootout, and Vincent Janssen converted for the Rayados. Nicolás Castillo had his penalty stopped by Marcelo Barovero, but Monterrey couldn’t take advantage as John Stefan Medina’s was saved by Memo Ochoa. Emanuel Aguilera scored to make it 1-1 after two rounds.

In the third round, Rogelio Funes Mori scored and Guido Rodríguez skied his to put Monterrey ahead, 2-1. Nicolás Sánchez and Giovani dos Santos both scored: 3-2. Leonel Vangioni then converted the decisive kick to give Monterrey the title as the Rayados won the shootout 4-2.

The title is Monterrey’s fifth in Liga MX and their first since the Apertura 2010, while Antonio Mohamed earned his third league championship and his first with the Rayados (after previously coaching América and Tijuana to the title).


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