Monterrey took on Toluca tonight, needing a win to get in to the Liguilla places after a slow start to the season. Los Rayados were looking for a three-game winning streak that would take their season total to nine points after losing their first two matches of the season. Toluca, on the other hand, came into the match needing any kind of good news. Los Diablos Rojos came into the match with one point on the season and only one goal scored after four games.
Monterrey hit the woodwork three times in the first half and scored on two set-pieces, with Miguel Layún scoring one and providing an assist on the other to give Monterrey a good 2-0 win. Vincent Jansson, who joined Monterrey from England’s Tottenham Hotspur earlier this summer, also made his debut and Los Rayados get another clean sheet and a good win at home.
Monterrey opened the match looking fairly dangerous, although Marcelo Barovero had to be alert and stop a decent effort on goal. Monterrey hit the woodwork a couple of times in the opening few minutes, with Maxi Meza truly unlucky that his shot bounced off the inside of the far post and out into the box, where Rodolfo Pizarro’s shot went over the bar.
In the 23rd minute, Miguel Layún scored his second goal of the season, putting a free kick into the box that was missed by everyone, including the Toluca goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera. The kick was allowed to bounce and then it simply went over the hands of Talavera and into the back of the net.
The goal seemed to take the wind out of the sails of the Toluca players, and only the woodwork saved the match from being a blowout at half-time, with Los Rayados hitting the post or the crossbar three times in the first half.
The second half started well for Monterrey, and the hosts were rewarded with a second goal in the 55th minute. Layún’s free kick was well-struck by Nico Sanchez, and his header looped over Talavera and into the back of the net to give Los Rayados a two-goal cushion.
César Montes came off injured soon after the Sanchez goal, and while it might have seemed a little odd, Dorlan Pabón, a forward, came on for Monterrey for a defender while up by two goals. However, the bench for Monterrey did not feature any extra central defenders, and manager Diego Alonso instead switched his 3-4-2-1 to a 4-2-3-1 by putting on a forward for a central defender, with Layún and Jesús Gallardo playing a llittle further back as fullbacks instead of as wing-backs.
Vincent Janssen made his Liga MX debut tonight, coming on for Rogelio Funes Mori in the 73rd minute, and nearly scored after doing well to steal the ball from a Toluca defender, but his shot just missed wide of the goal.
Janssen got his first yellow a few minutes later, as he was deemed to have fouled a defender while going for a jump ball in the box. And while he failed to score, Janssen did make an immediate impact on the match, doing well and looking likely to score, although it seemed his teammates were looking to get him the ball instead of trying to add to the lead, with Avilés Hurtado also coming on for Maxi Meza with a few minutes left in the match.
Monterrey will now face off against Santos Laguna next weekend, which might be their toughest match so far this season. Monterrey will need to do better at converting chances In Torreón than they were tonight if they hope to get a result on the road, but all’s well that ends well, right?