Monterrey looked to rebound from a disappointing draw away in CDMX against Pumas UNAM the previous weekend by dispatching a surprising Lobos BUAP team that entered the match in ninth place.
While Lobos BUAP are having a better Clausura than Apertura, they still didn’t have enough to stop Monterrey, who didn’t allow a late comeback this week and took care of business at home with a dominant 4-0 victory.
Monterrey would take the lead in the 21st minute when Rodolfo Pizarro would put the ball past the Lobos keeper off of a corner kick that the visitors failed to properly clear. Monterrey have been deadly from free kicks both in the Clausura and in the 2018 Apertura, where central defender Nico Sanchez, besides scoring from the penalty spot, was dominant in the box, scoring a number of goals from corner and free kicks.
The goal didn’t come as a surprise to anyone, as the pressure had been building on Lobos BUAP for quite a few minutes. Rogelio Funes Mori came close to scoring another goal, as he was able to take a cross off of his chest, but his effort was saved quite remarkably by the Lobos BUAP keeper.
Soon after however, Maxi Meza would score an Olímpico goal from a corner kick, as his ball into the box was missed by everyone and took a bounce right over the keeper. It was counted as an own-goal, but the replays seemed to show that the ball didn’t take a significant touch off of the Lobos defender.
Monterrey continued to heap on the pressure during the rest of the half, with a Funes Mori shot that somehow went off the post and another chance where it almost would have been easier to score, only for a Lobos BUAP defender to clear the ball off of the line.
Los Rayados went into half-time up 2-0 in another dominating performance. Of course, Monterrey has allowed Club León and Pumas UNAM to come back and snatch draws with late goals, so Monterrey would have been wanting to avoid a repeat.
The second half started much as the first half ended, with Monterrey still the dominant team while Antonio Rodriguez, the Lobos goalkeeper, continued to bail them out. Maxi Meza had a free kick that beat the wall, but Rodriguez was able to knock it out into touch for a corner kick.
Mexico international Miguel Layún made his Rayados debut in the 60th minute, coming on for an injured Stefan Medina. The former Club América defender/utility man joined Monterrey during the winter transfer window from La Liga’s Villarreal. Layún never really made an impact at the Yellow Submarine after joining last summer from FC Porto, and he’s now got a chance to help push Monterrey over the final hurdle to win a title.
Lobos started to play a bit better as the match started to wear on, as Monterrey started to get a little sloppy with the ball in their own end. Pizarro was booked for “diving” in the penalty box, and despite replays showing that it appeared that Pizarro had been fouled, the referee was not interested consulting VAR on either awarding the penalty nor reversing the yellow card.
Avilés Hurtado came into the match in the 72nd minute for Dorlan Pabón, and won a penalty in the 77th minute as he was fouled as he looked to use his speed to get by a pair of Lobos BUAP defenders. It honestly looked to be less of a challenge than the one that felled Pizarro earlier in the match, so perhaps the referee was looking to even the match up a tad.
Ángel Zaldivar came on in the 80th minute for Pizarro, and Monterrey would get another penalty after Lobos BUAP defender Francisco Rodriguez needlessly fouled Funes Mori in the box. This time, the penalty was taken by Funes Mori, but the result was the same as the striker buried the chance to give him a fifth goal on the season.
Marcelo Barovero had to wake up in the final few minutes and make a good save in the 86th minute, as Lobos BUAP searched for at least a consolation goal, but they were unable to make Monterrey pay. The score would end up 4-0 in yet another good, dominant performance for los Rayados as they retook the top of the table after crosstown rivals Tigres UANL had overtaken them on Friday night.