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Monterrey beat Club América on penalties, win 2019 Liga MX Apertura title

Monterrey are your 2019 Liga MX Apertura champs!

FBL-MEX-AMERICA-MONTERREY-FINAL Photo by RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP via Getty Images

Monterrey fought from a goal down to beat Club América on penalties and win their fifth Liga MX title in history.

Los Rayados came into the game boasting of a 2-1 advantage in the scoreline, which meant even a draw would be enough to give Antonio Mohamed’s men the title.

But it was las Águilas who poured forward from the very first minute and and enjoyed a dream start when Federico Viñas smashed in the series-equalizing goal after only six minutes.

Fired up by the equalizer, América thought they had taken the aggregate lead through Roger Martinez, but VAR was called into action for a handball on the lead-up to the goal.

América continued to press, and they would eventually get their reward when a bad clearance from Miguel Layun finished with Richard Sanchez scoring the go-ahead goal.

The goal was a big blow for the Rayados, who simply looked out of it through the course of the first half.

However, Monterrey did spring into action in the second half, particularly with the substitutions of Vincent Janssen and Cesar Montes. In the 75th minute, an error from Jorge Sanchez led to Dorlan Pabon finding Rogelio Funes Mori inside the box to score the 3-3 aggregate equalizer.

Then came a frantic ending. First a Carlos Rodriguez shot forced Guillermo Ochoa to a miraculous save before Funes Mori failed to take advantage of an opportunity with just the goalkeeper to beat.

With the game headed to extra time, it was once again las Águilas who took the initiative of the match. Deep into the extra period, Viñas had a golden opportunity to give América the title, but the Uruguayan came agonizingly close by stamping his header into the crossbar.

Once in penalties, Nico Castillo and Stefan Medina were the first to miss for their respective team. In the third Club América penalty, Guido Rodriguez sent his spot kick over the bar, giving Monterrey the chance to take the lead.

Los Rayados would then have Nico Sanchez score before Giovani dos Santos put América within one going into the last round of penalties. This, however, meant that if Leonel Vangioni scored Monterrey’s last penalty, los Rayados would win the title. As such, Vangioni made no mistake to give Monterrey the 2019 Liga MX Apertura title and Antonio Mohamed’s third in Mexican football.