Monterrey and Sporting Kansas City both went into this match knowing that the result tonight would likely have no effect on who would advance, given the 5-0 victory for los Rayados last week in Monterrey. And while an early goal from Sporting KC gave them hope, Monterrey answered the challenge and even saved a penalty and easily advanced to the Concacaf Champions League final, where they will face off against their eternal rivals Tigres UANL. The CCL final will not only be an all Liga MX affair, but will also be a Clásico Regio.
Sporting KC got the on the board early, as Gerso Fernandez scored in the 6th minute to give the hosts a glimmer of hope. Alas, the hope would be short-lived, as Monterrey would get an equalizer a short time later.
Rogelio Funes Mori scored what was certainly the nail in the coffin in the 21st minute. Unbelievably, the goal was Funes Mori’s first of the Concacaf Champions League this season, but considering he had been rested a few times, perhaps it’s not as shocking as it would be on first glance.
Sporting KC went gone forward on more than one occasion and it also didn’t appear that Monterrey were setting up to park the bus either. The game opened up a little bit, enough for Sporting KC to grab a second goal in the 29th minute, as Fernandez scored again.
However, Rodolfo Pizarro would add a second goal for Monterrey in the 39th minute, as Jesús Gallardo did good work to get a low cross into the box for Pizarro to put past Tim Melia, the Sporting KC keeper. Melia might have had a chance to save the shot, but it was from a tight angle and would have been extremely difficult to handle.
And if the goal scoring wasn’t enough for Monterrey fans, Marcelo Barovero added a little something extra. The veteran Argentine keeper saved a Sporting KC penalty taken by Ilie near the end of the first half, further taking the wind out of the MLS team’s sails. A solid way to end the half for Monterrey, who lead 7-2 on aggregate going into the tunnel.
The second half opened up with a bit less aggression from either team, as the semifinal had almost certainly been decided, but just for good measure, Monterrey started to dial up the pressure and added a few goals.
First, Miguel Layún scored a golazo from a free kick, putting an unstoppable shot right into the top left corner. A remarkable free-kick goal from the Mexico international, who was brought in during the January transfer window, mainly to play at fullback for los Rayados after his time at Villarreal had not worked out.
¡GOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! Avilés con una definición de Crack le pone la cereza al pastel.@SportingKC 2-4 @Rayados (2-9)— Univision Deportes (@UnivisionSports) April 12, 2019
Disfruta del partido EN VIVO https://t.co/p5l3uYTodE pic.twitter.com/hu31bYfvfJ
Avilés Hurtado got in on the fun in the 82nd minute, scoring another goal for Monterrey as it appeared that both teams were just going through the motions at this point. Leonel Vangioni and Dorlan Pabón had come on in the 60th minute and Argentina international midfielder Maxi Meza had come on for Gallardo in the 65th minute as Monterrey manager Diego Alonso looked to get some of his bench some time on the pitch.
And finally, perhaps adding insult to injury, Funes Mori got his second of the game and the fifth goal of the match in the 90th minute. A tad absurd at this point, but back to back CCL games with five goals scored is nothing to sneeze at. 10-2 on aggregate and now los Rayados can get ready for the rest of the Clausura and another Clásico Regio against Tigres, this time for the CCL title.