Necaxa traveled to Monterrey to take on Los Rayados in the Estadio BBVA Bancomer knowing that a win would be needed to keep pace with Pachuca, who were 1-0 winners over Club Atlas earlier in the day. Monterrey also needed a win or draw to guarantee spending another week in third place above Cruz Azul, however the focus of the team was always going to be on the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League final against crosstown rivals Tigres UANL.
Monterrey featured a greatly changed starting eleven, with even Marcelo Barovero getting a rest. Monterrey started Luis Cárdenas, Johan Vasquez, Cesár Montes, Leonel Vangioni, Edson Gutierrez, Jonathan Gonzalez, Daniel Parra, Eric Cantu, Maxi Meza, Ángel Zaldívar, and Adam Bareiro. Parra made his first Liga MX after appearing a few times in the Copa MX in the Apertura. And while Bareiro scored his first goal for the club on well-taken chip, biggest talking point is going to be Necaxa’s Brian Fernandez losing his mind and getting red carded late in the match and a scrum breaking out on the sideline in what was otherwise a fairly entertaining 2-2 draw, at least for neutrals. Both clubs will end the weekend in Liguilla spots, and it would be somewhat fitting, given the ending, that these two teams meet in the first round of the Liguilla in a few weeks.
Necaxa opened the scoring in the match early, with Brian Fernandez beating the offside trap and being played free into Monterrey’s half in the 4th minute of play and making no mistake when he got close. Fernandez has lifted Necaxa this season, so it wasn’t surprising to see him score the opening goal. Perhaps it would have been a good idea to keep an eye on him.
Monterrey would have been down by at least a couple more goals were it not for the efforts of Cárdenas, as the keeper made a number of excellent saves to keep Monterrey in the match when the score was 1-1.
Johan Vasquez was an unlikely goal scorer for Monterrey’s first goal of the night. He was at the far post and after a free kick wasn’t dealt with at all by the Necaxa defense, the ball bounced right to Vasquez and he put the ball into the back of the net, drawing the game level in the 25th minute.
Continuing the night of firsts, Adam Bareiro scored his first goal for the club in first half stoppage time. A beautiful chip over the Necaxa keeper meant that Monterrey were able to go into half-time leading Los Rayos by the score of 2-1.
Monterrey continued to play decent, if a little inconsistently, in the second half and then Daniel Álvarez was able to score a beautiful goal to bring Necaxa level in the 62nd minute.
Diego Alonso, as he does in Liga MX games when he’s chasing a win, brought on some of the big guns in the second half, with Rogelio Funes Mori coming on in the 64th minute and Avilés Hurtado in the 69th minute, with Daniel Parra and Zaldívar making way.
However, all everyone will be talking about happened a few minutes later. Brian Fernandez appeared to be substituted off for Necaxa, only for the Argentine to come back onto the pitch as the player who he was supposedly coming on for him suddenly had a problem with his shoelaces.
The referee showed Fernandez a yellow card for coming back onto the pitch, and after Fernandez literally grabbed the ref’s arm and tried to pull it down, the ref fished out a red card and sent Fernandez to an early shower. Did Fernandez go quietly? Of course not.
Fernandez had to be pulled off the pitch after getting into a dispute with Alonso and everyone from both teams gathered at the sidelines to shown their objections with each other.
Cesár Montes got a second yellow card for a bad tackle a few minutes later and the match ended with both teams having only 10 men, and no one else managed to get a goal, leaving the score at 2-2, with both teams collecting a point and heading home. Necaxa will now face struggling Querétaro in the final matchday, needing at least a point to stay above their rivals for a Liguilla spot, although with their superior goal difference to Club Tijuana and Club América, they might have already done enough to stay in the top eight in the table. Monterrey will face Club Atlas next weekend in Guadalajara, knowing what if anything, they need to do to preserve their place in the table.