Monterrey had to overcome the elements after a half-hour rain delay interrupted their match in Morelia against Monarcas. And while they left it late, Monterrey finally scored five minutes into stoppage time, making up for wasting a number of chances and being up a man the entire second half.
This wasn’t a pretty or even good win, but it’s still three points. Monterrey needed to get a win away from home after losing away at both Club América and Atlético San Luis to start the season. Monterrey will now play at home against Deportivo Toluca next Saturday with an eye on a third straight win in Liga MX and a chance to get back into the race for the Liguilla.
Neither team looked like they would set the game on fire in the first half, with Monterrey having the bulk of the good chances. Monarcas, however, had perhaps the best chance of the first half, but Marcelo Barovero was able to get a hand to a low shot that otherwise appeared to be goal-bound. Both team didn’t do great in possession, and despite the missed changes, a scoreless first half was probably the most reasonable outcome.
Rogelio Funes Mori was off target a couple of times in the first half, putting one shot over the crossbar when given a few yards of space, and putting a header off the woodwork from a pretty good Miguel Layún cross to the far post. It was one of the better chances, but with the close marking from the Morelia player on Funes Mori, it wasn’t as good a chance as the earlier shot from Funes Mori, who had time and space to get a good shot on the net, but was unable to keep the shot down.
Morelia was reduced to 10 men in the 44th minute as “Shaggy” Martinez saw red for a second yellow card after a challenge from behind on Rodolfo Pizarro. Not a great time or place for “Shaggy” to pick up his second card, as Pizarro was dribbling away from goal, and while it looked a bit soft, it was a needless and unnecessary foul nonetheless.
With halftime came the rain and lightning, meaning that the two clubs suffered through a 30 minute rain delay. Monterrey already had one match delayed, and later postponed, because of rain this week, with their Copa MX match against Cafetaleros de Chiapas being rained out in midweek.
Monterrey turned up the pressure on the hosts, looking to get a goal that would surely see them win the match. Monarcas, however, did not simply sit back and wait for pressure, as they tried to keep playing with the ball and looking to get forward. They had a couple of dangerous looking chances in the first 15 minutes or so of the first half, but Monterrey survived without too much trouble, although Nico Sanchez was subbed out for César Montes with what appeared to be an injury in the 59th minute.
Pizarro came close in the 62nd minute, with a shot that went just clipped the crossbar. Pabón also put a blistering shot on goal a few minutes later that Sebastian Sosa did well to deflect out for a corner.
Otherwise, it was hard to tell that Monterey were playing up a man in the second half. While they dominated possession, and made lots of passes around the perimeter, the final product seemed lacking and instead of organized plans, players seemed to just look for bad shots from 30 yards out or went looking for crosses into a triple-covered Funes Mori.
Morelia came close to making a wasteful Monterrey pay a few times after the 80th minute, and while the chances weren’t especially threatening, they did take valuable time off the clock and further frustrated Monterrey. Funes Mori missed yet another chance in stoppage time after finally getting the ball at his feet in the six yard box, but between the tight angle and a defender blocking the way, he was unable to get a goal.
Layún finally got Monterrey on the board in the 5th minute of stoppage time, with Monterrey finally able to get the ball into the back of the net after what seemed like a dozen shots in the second half alone. Monarcas made a final push, but it was for naught, and Alonso and Los Rayados go back to Monterrey with three points and a second league win in a row.