Monterrey visited Veracruz, looking to win back-to-back games in Liga MX Clausura for the first time since week six and seven, when they recorded victories over Lobos BUAP and Monarcas Moreila. Monterrey won last weekend Their opponent, Veracruz, are moored to the bottom of the Liga MX table, and are already doomed to relegation and suffered a 9-2 loss away at Pachuca last weekend.
The match should have been easier for Monterrey, but Diego Alonso chose to rotate his squad with an eye towards next week’s Concacaf Champions League final first leg, set to be played against cross-town rivals Tigres UANL. A Clásico Regio for an international trophy, what could be better.
However, before next week’s big game, Monterrey still had to deal with a Veracruz side that looked disinterested in last week’s loss at Estadio Hidalgo. It didn’t quite go as planned.
Monterrey had trouble in the first half, as the old problem of the team not being able to score when Rogelio Funes Mori isn’t on the pitch popped up and showed its ugly head, as Ángel Zaldívar fluffed an incredible chance created by Jesús Gallardo and Monterrey just seemed out-of-sync on the attacking end of the pitch.
As for the defensive end of the pitch, Marcelo Barovero dodged a bit of a bullet as a Veracruz player totally missed a chance after being free in front of goal with the ball at his feet from a free kick, only to put the ball out of touch for a corner-kick. Colin Kazim-Richards also had a extremely powerful shot that flew past Barovero’s post, but it appeared that the Argentine goalkeeper had his post covered.
The worst moment of the first half, however, came when Johan Vasquez accidently kicked Cesár Montes in the head on an attempted clearance. Stefan Medina came in for Montes, who stayed on the pitch receiving treatment for awhile.
The half ended scoreless, with Monterrey probably feeling a tad unlucky to have not scored at least a goal, although Veracruz would have felt just as hard-done by given the chances that Los Tiburones Rojos had missed as well.
Funes Mori and Hurtado coming in, looks like Alonso is trying to go for the win— Rayados90 (@rayadosninety) April 20, 2019
The first part of the second half continued in similar fashion to the first half, so Alonso brought on Funes Mori and Avilés Hurtado in the 60th and 61st minutes for Adam Bareiro and Charly Rodriguez, as he went looking for a winner.
Zaldívar had a header go off the woodwork in the second half, and then he played provider. After getting a cross in the box, he wasn’t able to get his initial attempt off and instead played the ball out to Leonel Vangioni and the fullback put a hard shot into the bottom corner of the net for the game’s only goal.
Monterrey saw the rest of the game out fairly easily, and while it wasn’t as pretty as last week’s big win over Santos Laguna, three points are three points and Monterrey stay third in the Liga MX table.