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Match Recap: Monterrey keep their 100% league record intact with a 2-1 victory over Queretaro

Avilés Hurtado’s 90th minute winner earns all three points for Monterrey

Monterrey v Queretaro - Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

Monterrey went into the match looking to continue their winning streak and stay on top of the Liga MX table while Queretaro were looking to nick a point, or even a win, on their travels and extend their own unbeaten streak.

Monterrey had not allowed a goal in their first two matches on the road, and new manager Diego Alonso was looking to get his first league win at the Estadio BBVA Bancomer after picking up his first home win against Puebla in the Copa MX this past Wednesday.

Monterrey had an early chance, as the Querétaro keeper failed to properly deal with a free kick that was sent into the box. Nicolás Sanchez made a good run into the box and while a Monterrey player got a boot to the ball, the Querétaro defenders did enough to get the ball out of the box and into safety.

Most of the attack in the first 15 minutes of the match from Monterrey seemed to be to put through balls over the top for Rogelio Funes Mori to run onto. At least two chances were very close, but the keeper got to both of them.

Querétaro got a penalty in the 21st minute after Edson Puch went down in the box in rather questionable fashion after being “fouled” by Sanchez. He converted the spot kick and Los Rayados surrendered their first goal in three Liga MX matches.

Avilés Hurtado had a goal from a corner kick taken away by an offside flag that seemed rather questionable. After the ball and been crossed in from the corner, a Monterrey player flicked the ball into space at the far post, where Hurtado met the ball and headed it into a empty net, but he was ruled to be offsides when the flick was taken, despite looking very close on the replay.

Monterrey scored from a free kick in the 30th minute after Sanchez got his head to flick the ball on and past the keeper. Monterrey had a few dangerous free kicks in the offensive zone, and they finally punished los Gallos Blancos from one of them.

Los Rayados got a penalty of their own late in the first half after Hiram Mier took Hurtado from behind. Replays made it look as if the foul took place outside of the area, but the spot kick was awarded anyway. Sanchez stepped up to take the penalty, but he was only able to put the kick against the post.

A few more chances were had in the first half, but neither Monterrey or Querétaro were able to convert them.

The match was level at half-time with Monterrey fans feeling a little a hard done by as the referee had awarded a questionable penalty for Querétaro, had a goal which looked good called back for offsides, and missed a penalty.

The second half was a little more back and forth as Querétaro seemed to ramp up the pressure while Monterrey’s legs looked a little tired from the midweek CopaMX match against Puebla.

Dorlan Pabón was introduced in the 66th minute to some cheers, but he wasn’t able to insert any instant impact on the match. What appeared to be a almost certain penalty was waved off by the referee in the about the 70th minute as Funes Mori was bundled to the floor by a clumsy challenge.

Querétaro’s Matías Britos almost had a goal in the 80th minute as he had a free header on goal after a corner kick, but he wasn’t able to steer his powerful header on frame. Marcelo Balovero was absolutely beat, and los Rayados were lucky that the ball was wide.

Pabón got a chance late, but his first touch let him down a bit in the box and he was only able to steer the ball behind the net for a goalkick.

Querétaro played some neat passing play in the last five minutes or so as they looked to see the match out, but los Rayados finally appeared to have some urgency in their attack as they looked to try and get a win at home.

The urgency was repaid in the 90th minute as Rodolfo Pizarro did well to drive the ball forward on a counter attack. Pizarro wasn’t closed down, and Pabón did well to check his run and stay onside while still providing an outlet to Pizarro’s right. Pabón beat his man and crossed the ball for Funes Mori, who dummied the ball instead of shooting with a defender right on him and the goalkeeper closing down, allowing Avilés Hurtado to slot home the ball from the left hand side as he was left completely unmarked in the box.

Despite some good play in the second half and a dodgy penalty being awarded to them, los Gallos Blancos weren’t able to walk away from their travels north with a point, while Monterrey fans will have given a sigh of relief after the 90th minute goal saved a win for Monterrey after the team missed a penalty in the first half.

Monterrey keep their 100% record, but are still only third in the table, as both Cruz Azul and UNAM Pumas have better goal differences. And while the team finally allowed a goal, it was from the spot, meaning that los Rayados have still yet to allow a goal from open play in the Apertura 2018.