Match: CF Monterrey v Santos Laguna
Date: November 28th, 2018
Time: 9:06 PM CDT, 10:06 PM EDT, 7:06 PM PDT
Venue: Estadio BBVA Bancomer, Monterrey, Mexico
Television: Fox Sports 2 Cono Norte in Mexico & Central America, Fox Sports Deportes in the United States
Check Livesoccertv for more information.
With Monterrey’s Estadio BBVA Bancomer hosting the first leg, Liga MX Liguilla fifth seed Monterrey will face off against fourth-seeded Santos Laguna in the start of the Quarterfinals of the 2018 Liga MX Apertura Liguilla.
Monterrey has had a rough season, with a number of injuries to key players plaguing the team. At the same time, the team has had to go through an adjustment period to get the high-profile off-season acquisitions of Rodolfo Pizarro and Jesus Gallardo up to speed in one of the most established and successful teams in Mexico.
Santos Laguna, on the other hand, are the defending champions, having won the Clausura 2018. Despite losing a number of players, including Clausura 2018 top scorer Djaniny, the Guerreros come into the Liguilla after finishing the regular season in fourth and undefeated at the Estadio Corona.
Monterrey went into this season as one of the favorites, and will be looking to make good on all of the promise, not to mention justifying the team moving on from Antonio Mohamed to hire former Pachuca manager Diego Alonso. Monterrey already lost the Copa MX final to Cruz Azul, and while it’s not as important a trophy as the Liga MX title, a trophy is still a trophy.
The key match-up will end up being how Monterrey’s central defenders deal with Julio Furch and Jonathan Rodriguez. Furch can create goals out of literally nothing with his strength and ability in the box, while Jose Basanta and Nico Sanchez have not always looked as rock solid as they have in years past.
This might be the most difficult first-round match-up to call, as it remains to be seen which Monterrey shows up, the team that gave up last-minute goals to teams like Lobos BUAP and Necaxa, or the team that played brilliantly in the win over Atlas last week.