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Clasico Regiomontano Recap: Tigres & Monterrey play to scoreless draw

Tigres UANL draw 0-0 with Los Rayados de Monterrey

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

The 117th Clásico Regimontano on the pitch was overshadowed by the violence off the pitch before the match, as a Tigres fan was very seriously injured in a clash between a set of Tigres fans and a set of Rayados fans. Revolting scenes of violence shouldn’t have a place in football matches in the 21st century, and yet here we are.

Monterrey, who had swtiched to a 4-3-3 formation after suffering a few devastating injuries to Avilés Hurtado and Jonathan Urretaviscaya the previous week, welcomed Rogelio Funes Mori back to the starting line-up. Los Rayados went with a three man midfield of Jonathan Gonzalez, Jesús Molina, and Celso Oritz, a change from the previous 4-2-3-1 that they had used for almost the entire season.

The first half was a muted affair, with neither team doing a whole lot with the ball. Tigres had the lion’s share of possession, but neither team had a shot on goal and both teams seemed far more interested in defending and maintaining the scoreline at 0-0.

Monterrey suffered an early injury blow when their captain, José Maria Basanta, had to be subbed off for injury in the 10th minute. Mexico U-21 international Cesar Montes had to come on at center-back and pair with Nico Sanchez for the experienced Argentine defender.

Tigre striker André-Pierre Gignac had two good chances on goal in the first 20 minutes or so, but he could’t steer his efforts on goal, much to the disappointment of the home fans at El Volcán.

Missed chances from set pieces would dominate the first half, as both teams traded free kicks from dangerous positions that were met with glancing headers that failed to challenge either keeper.

Leonel Vangioni looked as if he was hurt during first half stoppage time while Cesar Montes had to be carted off after taking a nasty blow to the head from a hard shot. Both players, however, would be able to continue.

Rodolfo Pizarro, who also appeared to be injured in the first half, was not so lucky. He had sought treatment a few times for what appeared to be a knee problem, and he was subbed off at halftime, making way for one of Mexico’s World Cup stars, Jesus Gallardo.

Gallardo slotted in on the wing, and provided some more direct play for los Rayados, as they attempted to find a way in the match. Los Rayados still, however, could not get more than a rare sniff of the ball as the match as Tigres continued to dominate possession.

Rogelio Funes Mori was subbed off for Luis Madrigal in the 66th minute, as it appeared that Funes Mori wasn’t able to go the full 90 minutes after returning from injury the previous week.

The biggest moment of the match came in the 70th minute from Monterrey’s keeper Barovero, who made a remarkable save off of an attempt on goal from Tigres fullback Juninho after a header in the box from a corner kick. The Argentinian keeper somehow pawed the ball away to keep Tigres off the board.

Eight minutes later, however, the game would slant a bit towards Monterrey as Juninho would get a second yellow card for a bad foul and Tigres would be forced to spend the last twelve minutes of regulation time plus the stoppage time with ten men. Gignac was subbed off in the 81st minute as both teams seemed to dig in for a draw.

A fairly dull affair, but both teams leave the match with a valuable point and both teams are still in the Liguilla places in the table. This match wasn’t very memorable, which is just as well, as it will be remembered more for the violence that took place before the match more than it would have been remembered for any result.

Tigres travel to Querétaro next Saturday while Monterrey will host Club Tijuana on Saturday, as both teams look to cement their places in the top eight while both Xolos and los Gallos Blancos will be looking to crash the party and climb their way into the Liguilla places.