The two played out a 0-0 draw in the first leg on Thursday, which leaves this match as a winner-takes-all affair. Unlike in the prior rounds of the playoffs, away goals are not tiebreakers, nor is seeding. If aggregate remains level, the game will go to extra time and then penalties if needed.
The final is a two-legged, home-and-away series (although in this case both legs are being played at the Estadio Azteca, which Cruz Azul has been sharing with América this season) decided by aggregate score.
Unlike in the prior rounds of the playoffs, away goals are not tiebreakers, nor is seeding. If the second leg of the final finishes level on aggregate, the game will go to extra time and then penalties if needed.
Cruz Azul lifted the Apertura 2018 Copa MX trophy after a 0-2 away win against Monterrey in the Gran Final. This is La Máquina’s fourth Copa title and their first since the Clausura 2013 season.
The game started off with Monterrey looking the stronger, as the hosts looked to take advantage of the atmosphere provided by the 49,764 people in the Estadio BBVA Bancomer – the majority of which were supporting the Rayados.
The Copa MX final consists of a single game held at the home of the highest remaining seed. Should the game be tied at the end of 90 minutes, a penalty shootout will determine the champion; no extra time will be played.
The Rayados will host this Apertura 2018 final as they look for their third cup title, having previously lifted the trophy in the 1991-92 and Apertura 2017 seasons. La Máquina, meanwhile, is looking for their fourth title after winning in 1968-69 (against Monterrey), 1996-97, and the Clausura 2013.
Both semifinal games went to penalty shootouts, with Monterrey and Cruz Azul eventually emerging victorious. The two will now face off for the Apertura 2018 Copa MX crown in the Gran Final on October 31st.
The Rayados beat Pachuca 4-3 on penalties after a wild 3-3 draw; after falling behind early, Monterrey took a 2-1 lead, and then a 3-2 lead despite playing a man down. Pachuca tied it in the final minute of stoppage time to send the semifinal to a shootout, but the Tuzos couldn’t keep the momentum going as misses by Raúl López and Víctor Guzmán allowed Monterrey to claim the victory.
Cruz Azul, meanwhile, came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw against León, who had taken the lead in the 50th minute despite playing a man down since the 18th minute. La Máquina tied it up in the 71st and then triumphed 5-4 in the shootout, with Walter González’s miss for León proving decisive.
The Rayos lifted the trophy – their fourth cup title and their first since the 1994-95 season – in front of their home fans in a packed Estadio Victoria.
Chivas was held to a 0-0 draw in their second leg against the New York Red Bulls, but that result was still enough to advance El Rebaño with a 1-0 aggregate victory.
Toronto FC went to the Estadio Azteca and drew 1-1 with América, which saw them advance 4-2 on aggregate.
The Rayos are making their fifth appearance in the final and are looking for their fourth title; they most recently reached the final in the Clausura 2016 and last won the cup in the 1994-95 season.
Meanwhile, the Diablos Rojos are making their fourth appearance and are looking for their third title; they last reached the final in the 1988-89 season, which is also the last time they won the competition.
Toluca needed penalties to get past Zacatepec; after a 1-1 draw in regulation, the Diablos Rojos ultimately triumphed from the spot, 4-3.
Necaxa was able to beat Santos Laguna in regulation, with a 2-1 victory putting the Rayos into the final.
The game started off at a good pace and Monterrey had the first clear chance in the 8th minute, although Alfonso Blanco was able to make the save on Dorlan Pabón. The Rayados continued to have the better of the run of play, but Pachuca began to create some chances of their own.