The opening ten minutes were slow, but everything changed with Maximiliano Salas’s goal in the 12th minute. Salas sent a shot from distance flying past Sebastián Jurado to give Necaxa the 1-0 lead and give the hosts a confidence boost.
Fernando Navarro of León was given a one-game suspension for serious foul play, while Alexis Peña of Necaxa was suspended one game for denial of a clear goal-scoring opportunity.
Carlos Salcedo of Tigres UANL will miss the next two games; he was given a one-game suspension for serious foul play, and an additional game for using offensive and/or insulting language and/or gestures.
The hosts came out looking for a win in front of their home fans, and it didn’t take them long to take the lead. In the 9th minute, Juan Pablo Vigón headed home a cross from Jeison Angulo to make it 1-0 for Pumas with his first goal for the club.
These two faced each other less than a week ago in the SuperCopa MX, where Cruz Azul walked away with a 4-0 victory; La Máquina was not able to carry that form over into this match, however. The opening was cagey, with few chances of note for either side, although on the balance the visitors looked more dangerous.
La Máquina looked dangerous from the beginning, with their first good chance coming in the 3rd minute; on the counterattack, Roberto Alvarado found Édgar Méndez, but his shot went over the bar. Then, in the 17th minute, Yosimar Yotún forced a good save out of Hugo González as Cruz Azul continued to look for the opener.
Cruz Azul lost the first leg, but thanks to their away goal and their position as higher seed, they are still in a reasonable position to advance: La Máquina needs a two-goal win to move on to the semifinals. They were not a very high-scoring team in the regular season, though, amassing 26 goals in total; they won by a 2+-goal margin just four times in 17 games. Nevertheless, that’s what they need to do in this one. The pressure is on, especially since Cruz Azul will not want to be knocked out of the playoffs by their Clásico rivals.
The game started off well for the visitors, who put pressure on Necaxa and had a few chances through Avilés Hurtado and Dorlan Pabón. They couldn’t find too many clear chances, though, although Hugo González came close to gifting them a goal after mishandling a free kick in the 20th minute. However, the keeper was able to recover and grab the ball out of the air before it made it over the line. Continue reading
Necaxa vs Monterrey – 8:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Necaxa (6th) finished off the regular season with a 1-0 victory against Querétaro to send them into the playoffs with a four-game unbeaten streak. The Rayos are also unbeaten at home in four and lost just once at home in the regular season. However, they also had more draws than victories in the Estadio Victoria and accumulated the fewest home points of any of the playoff teams; they also scored the fewest home goals: 12 in eight games. Necaxa had a better record on the road, but they’ll still be looking to put their home-field advantage to good use as they start their quarterfinal series in this one. Continue reading
Tigres UANL coach Ricardo Ferretti and Puebla coach José Luis Sánchez Solá were both given one-game suspensions for insulting and/or showing a lack of respect towards players or members of the coaching staff after the pair were involved in an altercation.
Both teams had the lead at one time or another, but in the end Monterrey and Necaxa had to settle for a 2-2 draw. The result keeps the Rayados unbeaten in three, but ends their two-game winning streak, while the Rayos are also unbeaten in three but are winless in two.
The hosts once again rested a majority of their starters with an eye on the midweek CONCACAF Champions League final, and the visitors appeared to have taken advantage as they took the lead in just the 3rd minute. Ángel Sepúlveda played Brian Fernández in behind the defense with a long pass, and Fernández took the ball into the box and beat Luis Cárdenas to make it 0-1.