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Copa MX Recap: Monterrey draws 1-1 with Club Puebla after a late goal from Puebla’s Palacios

Monterrey’s Daniel Parra saw red as Cristian Palacios’ 86th minute goal cancelled out los Rayados’ Daniel Lajud’s outstanding opener

Puebla v Veracruz - Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Pedro Mera/Getty Images

Los Rayados visited the Estadio Cuauhtémoc in Puebla, Mexico, tonight to take on Club Puebla in Copa MX action. A win would see Monterrey through to the knockout rounds with a game remaining in the group stage, while Puebla needed a win, or at least a draw, to stay in the race for either the top spot or a chance to go through to the knockout rounds from second place.

The first half was largely controlled by Monterrey, as both teams struggled a bit, as both teams had lineups without a number of the regular players. Monterrey came close a few times and largely looked to be the superior team for much of the half, looking more likely to score.

Monterrey were rewarded in the 23rd minute as Daniel Lajud scored an incredible goal, beating the offside trap and hitting the shot on the volley. Just a remarkable goal and pass that left the keeper with absolutely no chance.

Puebla would come close in the 40th minute, and have a couple attempts on goal that started out well but didn’t really threaten Juan Pablo Carrrizo.

The game went into half-time with Monterrey leading by a goal and seeming in charge, as they had dominated much of the first half.

Right out of the blocks, Monterrey came close, with Luis Madrigal coming close to scoring, but his shot was wide of the net. The pressure started to build from Puebla as Monterrey seemed to lose a bit of steam.

In the 50th minute, Carrizo was forced into a superb save by Puebla’s Oscar Villanueva, as he was left open near the top of the box, and his screamer was just pushed out into touch by the Monterrey keeper at full stretch. Monterrey were absolutely let off the hook, as a shot like that scores 80% of the time, especially with a “backup” keeper in between the sticks.

After bringing on Nico Sanchez on earlier in the half, Diego Alonso once again brought on the big guns in the second half of a Copa MX match in order to see the game out. Dorlan Pabón and Avilés Hurtado came into the match for Jonathan Urretaviscaya and Luis Madrigal.

Unfortunately for Monterrey, the introduction of some of the star players didn’t help very much, as ten minutes after the sub, Monterrey’s Daniel Parra saw red after getting a second yellow on a bad tackle.

Puebla seemed emboldened by the sending off, and started to turn up the heat on Monterrey, which had been playing in the second half as if the match had already been decided by the first goal.

Puebla were rewarded in the 85th minute as Cristian Palacios headed in a goal at from inside the six-yard box, as it seemed that Monterrey’s Jesús Molina just switched off and failed to contest the header.

It was an improbable, if not undeserved, equalizer for Puebla, and despite some valiant attempts from Pabón, the match was always going to end up with a draw after the late goal from Puebla.

Both Monterrey and Puebla have to face Venados FC once more in the Copa MX, and even with the draw, Monterrey still are in control of the group with seven points to Puebla’s four and Venados’ zero. This draw, however, can at least still give Puebla a slight chance for the group lead, or, at the very least, a good shot at being one of the second placed clubs that advance to the knockout rounds, something that they’ve failed to do in each of the past two Copa MX competitions.