Game: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente vs. Club de Fútbol Monterrey
Date: Saturday, March 16th
Time: 11:06 p.m. Eastern, 10:06 p.m. Central, 8:06 p.m. Pacific, 3:06 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Caliente (Tijuana, B.C.)
Referees: REF: Diego Montaño Robles, AR1: Christian Kiabek Espinosa Zavala, AR2: Cesar Cerritos García, 4TH: Erick Yair Miranda Galindo
Radio: 98.9 FM (Tijuana/San Diego)
All-time record: In Liga MX play, Rayados have won seven matches to Xolos three, and the clubs have drawn five times. In their last meeting, Monterrey won by a 3-0 score line at Estadio BBVA Bancomer. They’d win the last meeting at Estasio Caliente by the same score line also. The teams have met in the Liguilla three times, with Rayados defeating Tijuana in the 2012 Clausura and 2012 Apertura, while Xolos won in the 2018 Clausura Quarterfinals.
Undefeated Monterrey square off against Xolos in a contest between the third and sixth ranked teams in the Liga MX table, meaning that if the Liguilla started today, these two would face off for the second straight Clausura tournament. Last year’s Clausura ended with Xolos prevailing over los Rayados, so will history repeat itself this weekend?
Despite a recent run of draws, Monterrey are still undefeated, and will be looking to put the bad taste of a draw against their bitter rival Tigres UANL behind them with a good road win. Club Tijuana, on the other hand, is coming off of a 4-0 loss at Pachuca, and while they are on 16 points and in sixth place, they are only five points above 13th placed Deportivo Toluca.
Both clubs had successful matches in the midweek, with Xolos defeating Monarcas Morelia on the road to advance to the semifinals of the Copa MX, while Monterrey defeated Atlanta United 3-1 on aggregate in the CONCACAF Champions League despite dropping a 1-0 loss in Atlanta. Monterrey will now face off against Sporting Kansas City in the CCL semifinals, which will be played next week.
Monterrey need a win to keep pace with Tigres and the surprise team of the Clausura, Club León at the top of the table. Going into the weekend, Monterrey trail both by a point and a win, depending on the other results, could see them go back top. Xolos are also in need of a win, as four teams, Necaxa, Santos Laguna, Chivas, and Cruz Azul, could all pass them in the table with a win. Two others, Puebla and Lobos BUAP, could also go level on points with Xolos with a win.
Monterrey will likely rely on the scoring of their Argentine talisman Rogelio Funes Mori, while Xolos have their own dangerous Argentinian forward in Gustavo Bou. Monterrey also have one of the most solid defense in Liga MX, so this should be a difficult match for Xolos, and Monterrey will be hoping that they can start getting goal scoring from someone other than Funes Mori.