Match: CF Pachuca v CF Monterrey
Date: October 23rd, 2018
Time: 9:06 PM CDT, 10:06 PM EDT, 7:06PM PDT
Venue: Estadio Hidalgo
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Monterrey visit Estadio Hidalgo to face Pachuca in a Copa MX semi-final tonight, in a rematch of the first game of the season, and another visit to his old stomping grounds for los Rayados head coach Diego Alonso.
A lot has happened since July, and so the Monterrey lineup that will take the pitch tonight will probably significantly different than the lineup that took the pitch against los Tuzos on the opening weekend of the Apertura 2018. José Basanta, Rodolfo Pizarro, and Jonathan Urretaviscaya are all out injured, and Dorlan Pabón and Rogelio Funes Mori both did not start the match for Monterrey due to injury.
Alonso played most of his regular team for the quarterfinal match-up against Querétaro, so don’t expect to see very many non-first team players in this match, although it remains to be seen if Avilés Hurtado, who scored the only goal the last time these two teams met, will start on the bench or be in the starting XI.
The big addition for Pachuca has been former Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion striker Leonardo Ulloa. The Argentine striker joined Pachuca in August, and has scored two goals in seven appearances for los Tuzos. He’s a tall, physical presence in the box, and will challenge the normally reliable Monterrey defense at set pieces, especially with Basanta out for Monterrey.
The Copa MX is usually ignored by fans or almost the entire competition, and in truth, a lot of teams treat it as a way to get some of their youngsters some playing time. However, with Monterrey making the semifinals, it would seem that not taking this match seriously would be a huge mistake.
At this point, even with Monterrey looking a little shaky in the Liguilla places, failure to turn a semifinal appearance into making the finals, if not winning the Copa, would make the nice run that Monterrey has been on pretty worthless. Might as well get a trophy at this point, even if its a trophy that isn’t very important, because the only thing worse than winning a cup no one cares about is coming close to winning it and not being able to bring it home.