The game started slowly, with neither team able to take control. Monterrey suffered a setback in the 19th minute when goalkeeper Hugo González had to be subbed out with an apparent muscle injury, but Veracruz was unable to do much to test the backup keeper.
Pumas UNAM vs Atlas – 1:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Pumas UNAM (2nd) earned a come-from-behind 2-3 away win against Pachuca last weekend, and they’ll look to keep the momentum going with another win when they return home for this one. The universitarios will be inspired after last week’s win, where they came from two goals down to earn a victory, and they’ll be more rested than their opponent as they did not have a midweek game.
As for Atlas (16th), the Rojinegros fell 1-2 to León last weekend and then followed that up with a 0-1 loss to Veracruz in the Copa MX in midweek. Atlas will look to turn things around here when they go on the road, and they did have a marginally better road record than home record last season. Nevertheless, back-to-back losses with just one goal scored between them won’t have done much for Atlas’s confidence.
The visitors started the game off strongly, with Raúl Ruidíaz looking dangerous; however, it was the hosts who took the lead. In the 25th minute, José María Basanta found Rogelio Funes Mori, who beat Sebastián Sosa to give the Rayados the 1-0 lead.
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.
The Copa MX schedule was disrupted by the earthquakes that struck Mexico this fall, and then the final was further pushed back as the Rayados had qualified for the league playoffs while the Tuzos traveled to the United Arab Emirates for the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup.
A 1-1 first-leg draw left everything to play for here, and the Rayados grabbed a very early lead. In just the 2nd minute, Rogelio Funes Mori brought the ball down for Dorlan Pabón, whose volley beat Nahuel Guzmán to make it 1-0 (2-1) for the hosts.
In the first leg of this historic Clásico Regio Gran Final, Tigres UANL and Monterrey played to a 1-1 draw. It was a hard-fought game in wintry weather, with both rain and hail falling over the course of the 90 minutes – conditions that didn’t deter the 41,602 fans who were present in the Volcán.
The visitors took an early lead from a set piece. In the 8th minute, Dorlan Pabón sent a corner kick to the near post, where Nicolás Sánchez nodded the ball on. Nahuel Guzmán couldn’t keep it out and Monterrey had the 0-1 lead.
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.
The semifinals have wrapped up and the Apertura 2017 finalists have been determined. The top two seeds advanced to the final, and Monterrey and Tigres UANL will now face off to determine the Apertura 2017 Liga MX Champion.
This will be the first Clásico Regio Gran Final; the two regional rivals have never before faced off in a Liga MX final, although they have played each other five times in other rounds of the Liguilla.
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.