Monterrey got a point on the road against Necaxa, but once again allowed a late goal to result in a draw after scoring an early goal. Questions about the readiness of los Rayados for Mexico’s Liga MX Liguilla are being asked as Monterrey again looked unable to sustain a lead and keep a clean sheet.
Dorlan Pabón got Monterrey on the board early, with a goal in the 10th minute. Leonel Vangioni was released down the left hand side of the box by a good through-ball and his cross was allowed to pass in front of the face of the goal, took a bounce, and found Pabón in approximately an acre of space all alone. Pabón took a first touch off his head, latched onto the ball and fired home the shot into the far corner of the net, leaving Hugo Gonzalez no chance.
Monterrey seemed be in control for most of the first half, although Necaxa did come close near the half hour mark when a Sebastian Córdova shot went just wide of the post. And while Monterrey didn’t seem very troubled by anything that Necaxa was throwing at them, they also didn’t appear to have a sense of urgency to try and extend the lead, something that they have paid for in the past in a number of different games this season.
Rodolfo Pizarro went down with what appeared to be an arm injury in the first half, but he was able to continue after some treatment on the pitch. Otherwise there wasn’t a whole lot of fireworks after the early goal.
The second half started much as the first half ended, however, Necaxa started to put a little more pressure on los Rayados. Alejandro Mayorga came close to scoring with a good shot from just outside the box in the 52nd minute, but his effort didn’t have as much power on it as the Necaxa fullback would have wanted. As a result, Marcelo Barovero was able to steer the ball out of touch for a corner kick that ultimately led to nothing.
Necaxa’s Facundo Castro, who had come on at halftime for Córdova, started a good attacking sequence for Necaxa in the 62nd minute. But once again the final product let down los Rayos, and Monterrey’s blushes were once again spared by Necaxa’s finishing.
Luis Madrigal came on for Jesus Gallardo in the 68th minute for los Rayados, and then they promptly gave up the tying goal.
Brian Fernandez either scored or assisted a goal by Felipe Gallegos (the ball appeared to brush his head on the way into the back of the net, but it was close) and Necaxa made los Rayados pay for all of the wasteful play that Monterrey had engaged in since scoring the first goal in the 10th minute.
Fernandez made a great play to get to his rebound after being put through on goal by Dieter Villalpando, and his looped shot over a helpless Barovero.
Avilés Hurtado went close a few times in the final 20 minutes and Madrigal hit the crossbar after getting a shot off in a really good position, but once again, Monterrey was unable to get a winning goal and was only able to get a draw.
Serious questions about this team’s ability to play for a full 90 minutes need to be raised, as well as the team’s ability to consistently score goals if Rogelio Funes Mori is not on the pitch. If Monterrey manager Diego Alonso wasn’t feeling that a successful run in the Liguilla was imperative, he will be now.