Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Club de Fútbol Monterrey
Date: Saturday, December 1st
Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Santos Laguna and Monterrey head to Torreón to finish their Liguilla Quarterfinal matchup. Monterrey leads 1-0 thanks to a goal by Rogelio Funes Mori in the 60th minute of their match on Wednesday evening.
Because of this result, Santos must win 1-0 or win by a two goal difference. This is completely within the realm of possibility, as they’re undefeated at Estadio Corona TSM in the Apertura and have only lost once in the entire calendar year.
It’s worth noting that the last time Santos were undefeated at home heading into the Liguilla was in 2012. In the Clausura that year Los Guerreros would go on to beat Monterrey to get their fourth title. This time around however, victory is contingent upon them scoring, and that might be in danger with the late news that Uruguayan forward Jonathan Rodríguez could miss the match with back spasms.
If Rodríguez is unable to go, the most likely candidates to replace him are Ecuadoran striker Ayrton Preciado, Colombian Edwin Cetré, or perhaps even Eduardo “Lalo” Herrera. Santos is still a very dangerous team without Rodríguez, and will rely on Julio Furch and whomever he is partnered with to bear the load of the offensive duties.
Monterrey must come in to the match with the mentality that the one goal won’t be enough to advance to the next round. They will need to get Funes Mori, Jesús Galardo, and Dorlan Pabón involved in the attack and look to expand their lead.
Rayados will also need another huge performance from Marcelo Barovero and the defense. Santos has a potent offense and is expected to come out looking to score, so the Argentina goalkeeper will need to rely on Jose Maria Basanta, Leonel Vangioni, and the rest of the back line to keep Furch and company in check.