Tigres seemed to have the upper hand going into this one: a 2-1 aggregate lead, two away goals, and their positioning as the higher seed if it came down to that tiebreaker. But América came out attacking and before long they had the series turned on its head.
Quarterfinal aggregate results
Monterrey 6-3 Santos Laguna
Monarcas Morelia 5-4 León
Necaxa 6-2 Querétaro
América 5-4 Tigres UANL
The semifinals are two-legged, aggregate-goal series; away goals are tiebreakers. If both the aggregate and the away goals are tied at the end of the second leg, the higher seed will advance.
The semifinal pairings are as follows:
Necaxa (5) vs Monterrey (8)
América (6) vs Monarcas Morelia (7)
Santos Laguna was unable to overcome the first-leg deficit as they drew 1-1 with Monterrey in the second leg of their quarterfinal series, a result that sees the Rayados advance with a 6-3 aggregate victory.
The superlíder had a tough task ahead of them after falling 5-2 in Thursday’s first leg, but Santos was the highest-scoring team in the Apertura regular season and was unbeaten in their nine home games, so there was a bit of hope for the Guerreros. They came out looking for an early goal to shake things up, and they were able to reduce the aggregate deficit when Brian Lozano scored from outside the box in the 17th minute to make it 1-0 (3-5).
Querétaro mounted a valiant comeback attempt but a red card allowed Necaxa to retake control, with the Rayos earning a 2-3 win on the night and booking their spot in the semifinals with a 6-2 aggregate victory.
The Gallos Blancos needed to win at least 3-0 in order to overturn the first leg deficit, and they ame out attacking as they looked to do exactly that. It took just four minutes for Querétaro to get on the board, as Marcel Ruiz headed home a cross from Ayron del Valle to make it 1-0 (1-3) early on.
León took the lead but couldn’t hold it as Monarcas Morelia came back to earn a 1-2 win in the second leg of this quarterfinal series. That result puts La Monarquía through to the semifinals with a 5-4 aggregate victory.
The 3-3 draw from the first leg made this game a winner-takes-all affair, but the onus to score was all on Morelia since the tiebreakers meant all León needed to advance was a 0-0 draw. Both teams came out attacking, though, and Rodolfo Cota and Sebastián Sosa were both kept busy in their respective goals.
Gabriel Achilier of Monarcas Morelia will miss the second leg of the quarterfinals after receiving a one-game suspension for receiving two yellow cards in the same match.
Morelia’s quarterfinal opponent, León, will have their full squad at their disposal, however, as La Fiera successfully filed a petition of nonconformity regarding the red card given to Yairo Moreno.
The quarterfinals are two-legged, aggregate-goal series; away goals are tiebreakers. If both the aggregate and the away goals are tied at the end of the second leg, the higher seed will advance.
The first leg results were:
Monarcas Morelia 3-3 León
Necaxa 3-0 Querétaro
Monterrey 5-2 Santos Laguna
América 1-2 Tigres UANL
América seemed a little disjointed at the start; although they had more possession, they were unable to do much with it. Guido Rodríguez and Richard Sánchez seemed out of sync in midfield, which led to difficulty linking up with the attack.
The game started off perfectly for the hosts, who took the lead just 1 minute 26 seconds after kickoff. Dorlan Pabón put the Rayados in front with a shot from outside the box into the upper corner, putting Santos Laguna in an immediate hole.
The game started off a little slowly, with a good deal of play taking place in midfield. Neither team was able to take firm control, and while they both created a few chances, none of them were particularly dangerous.