While both Monterrey and Tijuana could have used a win, the teams were evenly matched and both put up a good fight to earn a deserved point. Maximiliano Meza scored for Rayados in the first half, while a late goal from Mauro Manotas salvaged a draw for Los Xoloitzcuintles.
In the early minutes of the game, neither team really came out as dominant. Both had decent runs of possession, however the final ball was always lacking. Tijuana had a decent look in the 10th minute when a Junior Sornoza had a good cross in but it found the head of the Rayados’ defender instead, who headed it out to safety. Xolos were able to try another cross into the box in the 20th minute, this time from the right, but the header by Miguel Sansores went sideways and posed little danger.
In the 31st, Monterrey had a decent chance when Avilés Hurtado was played through but the ball was too long and Jonathan Orozco was able to collect it before the sliding Hurtado could get to it. In the 39th Monterrey would get on the board however when a great ball found Avilés Hurtado in a two-on-one situation with Maxi Meza. Hurtado chipped the ball over to Meza, who took a touch as the defender overran him and hit a left-footed shot that beat Orozco.
On the restart, Monterrey drove down and Hurtado hit a shot that Orozco made a great save on. On the corner kick, Dorlan Pabón got his head on the ball but it went out for a goal kick to alleviate the pressure. After playing well for the first 40 minutes, Xolos looked lucky to make it to the break down one.
In the second, Monterrey was able to maintain the pressure in large part on the visitors. Tijuana was able get some possession, but could not convert. In the 49th, Vladimir Loroña hit a cross in to Edgar López, but his shot went just over the bar.
In the 64th there was some controversy as Vincent Janssen was played in and tripped up from behind by Gonzalo Jara. While Rayados were adamant it was a denial of a goalscoring opportunity and Jara should have been shown a red card, the referee only showed yellow. In the 70th Xolos had a wonderful chance when Brayan Angulo sent a cross into the box that Fidel Martínez attempted a chileno on, just missing the net in what might have been the goal of the year had it gone in.
Maxi Meza went for his second in the 77th minute after being played into a wide open position, but his shot went well high of the bar. Two minutes later Xolos had a great chance when Mauro Mantoas drove in and hit a shot at close range that Hugo González read perfectly and steered out wide. González came up big again in the 82nd on a shot
In the 85th Monterrey looked to have scored, but referee Fernando Guerrero rightly spotted that it had deflected off of Vincent Janssen’s arm and ruled it no goal. This proved to be critical as in the 87th Fabián Castillo made a nice run down the left side of the box, slotting it centrally as he approached the end line. The ball took a deflection off of a Rayados defender right to the feet of a wide-open Mauro Manotas, who calmly steadied the ball and fired into the empty net to equalize.
That took a lot of the air out of Monterrey, and Xolos looked content to grab a hard fought point on the road against a good opponent.
Monterrey heads north to face FC Juárez in the Borderlands on Wednesday, March 3 before returning home to host Querétaro on Saturday, March 6. Tijuana will return home to host América on Wednesday before heading to Pachuca to play Tuzos on Monday, March 8.
Monterrey: Hugo González; Jesús Gallardo, Sebastián Vegas, César Montes, Edson Gutiérrez (Miguel Layún, 64’); Eric Cantú (Carlos Rodríguez, 54’), Matías Kranevitter, Alfonso González; Maximilano Meza (Aké Loba, 84’); Dorlan Pabón (Nicolás Sánchez, 64’), Avilés Hurtado (Vincent Janssen, 54’)
Club Tijuana: Jonathan Orozco; Brayan Angulo, Víctor Guzmán (Jaime Gómez, 57’), Gonzalo Jara, Vladimir Loroña; Junior Sornoza, Esteban Pavez, Jordi Cortizo (Fabián Castillo, 56’), Christian Rivera (David Barbona, 75’); Edgar López (Mauro Manotas, 62’), Miguel Sansores (Fidel Martínez, 62’)
Scoring: Monterrey - Maximiliano Meza (40’); Club Tijuana - Mauro Manotas (87’)
Disciplinary: Monterrey - Sebastián Vegas (Yellow - 90’); Club Tijuana - Christian Rivera (Yellow - 32’), Gonzalo Jara (Yellow - 64’)