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Despite help from refs, América unable to overcome Monterrey

With things not going América’s way, down by two goals, not even a penalty gift and bogus red card from the refs allowed them to obtain a favorable result

Queretaro v America - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Omar Martinez Martinez/Getty Images

After a clear shove by América defender Emanuel Aguilera who had only been subbed on three minutes prior for Bruno Valdez, Rayados defender Nico Sánchez fell to the ground, only to successfully execute the penalty kick a couple of minutes later to give his team a 1-0 lead. Five minutes later, after a deflected shot, Roger Martínez had the chance to level things up with a simple touch of the ball, having received it wide-open in the six-yard box. Unfortunately for him, the ball slid striaght into keeper Hugo González’s hands. A couple minutes later, Vincent Janssen capitalized on a botched clearance by Paul Aguilar to double the lead for Rayados, giving the Dutch star his first goal of the season. These things seem to be a must in football; when a team misses a wide-open opportunity, the rival seems to follow by capitalizing with a goal just a couple minutes later. Whatever the case may be, Rayados took a 2-0 lead into half-time.

At the start of the second half, Janssen continued to stay involved and wreak havoc on América’s defense. He created plays by either placing through balls or taking the ball himself, breaking the Aguilas’ defensive scheme. The way things looked, this was about to turn into another goal-fest against Herrera’s squad, and that’s when the refs appeared to have said, “We’ve seen enough.” The Dutch star took control of the ball a few yards outside the penalty box and was confronted by center-back Sebastián Cáceres, and as he got past the defender, accidentally stepped on the Uruguayan’s hand. Totally accidental and in the spur of the moment play. No way can you even call a foul on that play, let alone a yellow card. However, the ref remembered he had already booked Janssen at the end of the first half and saw his chance to get the rival’s key player out of the game. And so he did, showing him a second yellow card, and despite the use of the VAR, the call was upheld; ASSIST #1.

In those ten minutes with an extra man thanks to the ref’s help, América was unable to create any real danger, and having just been booked at the 60th minute, Roger Martínez proceeded to shove Chilean defender Sebastián Vegas from behind, a yellow card-must foul, and quickly spoiled that advantage by being shown his second yellow, levelling things back up to 10 vs. 10. But the ref wasn’t done handing out gifts to Herrera and company.

During a corner kick for América in the 72nd minute, as the cross was sailing above the penalty box, striker Henry Martin dramatically fell to the ground after an “impact” with Celso Ortiz’s fingers, and quickly threw his hands up in the air, asking for a penalty call. The ref was instructed from upstairs to stop play as they were reviewing a possible foul by Ortiz. After VAR clearly showed not enough contact for the player to fall to the ground, they went ahead and instructed Fernando Guerrero to call the penalty kick anyway. Simple as that. Those have to be the “strongest” fingers I’ve ever seen. The VAR is of no use when there aren’t objective people in charge of it. Víctor Aguilera went on to convert the penalty; ASSIST #2.

Fortunately enough, four minutes later, a great move by left-back Vegas saw him reach the byline inside the box, only to look back and assist Maxi Meza who crossed a right-footed beauty all the way to the far top corner, causing diving keeper Ochoa to miss by a mile, and confirming Rayados’s victory by 3-1. Monterrey were the better team in this one and deserved to take the three points, even if it wasn’t in the referee and league’s best interests, obviously.

Monterrey just got it’s first victory when Janssen plays this season, and extended it’s unbeaten streak when the Dutch star plays, now having garnered one win and three draws in said games. With this menacing offense gaining traction since the increasing involvement of its Dutch star, the rest of the league can only look on in fear as Rayados look to take over the league.

Unfortunately for Rayados, their appeal of Janssen’s bogus second yellow card resulting in a red card was unsuccessful. With this decision, Janssen won’t be available for Sunday’s home matchup vs. FC Juárez, a game the blue and white should win. Look for this Janssen’s increasing presence once he returns from his one-game suspension to result in more victories and a race to the top for Rayados.