Monterrey earned a comprehensive 4-0 victory against Monarcas Morelia in the second leg of their semifinal series to put the Rayados into the Gran Final with a 5-0 aggregate win.
It didn’t take the Rayados long to add to their aggregate lead, with Monterrey making it 1-0 (2-0) in just the 9th minute. Hugo González sent a long clearance to Rogelio Funes Mori, who let the ball bounce and then sent his volleyed shot past Sebastián Sosa.
Monterrey earned a 0-1 away win against Monarcas Morelia in the first leg of their semifinal series thanks to a first-half penalty.
Monarcas started the game well in front of their home fans, who packed the Estadio Morelos. The hosts had the first good chance of the game in just the 3rd minute, when Rodrigo Millar saw his shot hit the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten.
The quarterfinals wrapped up this Sunday with all four higher seeds advancing. Monterrey, the superlíder, was the only team to win their quarterfinal series outright, with Tigres UANL, América, and Monarcas Morelia all needing tiebreakers to advance after aggregate draws.
Those four teams will now face off in the semifinals this week, with the first legs in midweek and the return legs over the weekend. Tigres and América will play Wednesday and Saturday, with Monterrey and Morelia playing Thursday and Sunday.
The complete schedule and match-ups are as follows:
Monarcas Morelia overturned a first-leg deficit as they beat Toluca 2-1 in tonight’s second leg. With the series tied 3-3 on aggregate and away goals level at one each, Morelia advanced as the higher seed.
The night started off perfectly for the visitors, with Fernando Uribe running on to a long pass and beating Sebastián Sosa to make it 0-1 (1-3) for Toluca in just the 4th minute.
In the first leg of their quarterfinal series, Toluca came from behind to claim a 2-1 win against Monarcas Morelia. Both of the Diablos Rojos goals came after the 90th minute as they stunned Morelia to change the complexion of this series.
Toluca looked dangerous early on with Rubens Sambueza playing in Alexis Canelo and Fernando Uribe, but the final touch was lacking. Then, in the 19th minute, Mario Osuna nearly gave Morelia the lead with his attempt that deflected off the defense and ended up just inches wide of the post.
The eight finalists are known and the seeds are set. Monterrey, Tigres UANL, América, Monarcas Morelia, Toluca, Cruz Azul, León, and Atlas will now face off for the Apertura 2017 title.
The quarterfinals will begin this week, with the first legs in midweek and the return legs over the weekend. There is one clásico in this round, with América and Cruz Azul contesting the Clásico Joven.
Cruz Azul kept their playoff ambitions alive with a 1-2 away win against Monarcas Morelia. The result snapped a two-game losing streak for La Máquina, while ending a five-game unbeaten run for the michoacanos.
The game couldn’t have started better for the visitors, who took the lead in just the third minute. From a corner kick, Gabriel Peñalba out-jumped his defender and headed the ball on to the fair post where Felipe Mora knocked it home to make it 0-1.
The Disciplinary Committee has suspended eight players, upheld a red card appeal, and opened an investigation into a coach in the aftermath of this weekend’s Jornada 15 games.
Alexander Mejía of León and Jaine Barreiro of Atlas were given one-game suspensions for denial of a clear goal-scoring opportunity, while Osvaldo González of Toluca and Nicolás Castillo of Pumas UNAM were suspended one game for a lack of respect towards the match officials.