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Toluca and Monterrey split points in lively clash

Toluca started well but Monterrey finished as the better side in a 1-1 tie.

Toluca v Monterrey - Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX Photo by Agustin Cuevas/Getty Images

Toluca kept their spot in first place after battling to a 1-1 tie against Monterrey. Toluca hosted a Monterrey side that struggles in away matches but finished as the better side in the second half to get the tie in lively match marred by some injuries. Toluca will travel to face Atletico San Luis on Sunday, while Monterrey returns home to face their biggest match of the regular season as they face Tigres in another edition to the Clasico Regio.

The game started with Toluca coming out with their best squad, but Rayados making a lot of changes, looking like their priority was their Saturday match against Tigres. The possibility of climbing to first place took a backseat to the Clasico Regio. Off of a free kick, there was a bad clash of heads between Valber Huerta and Jesus Gallardo which ended with both needing medical attention. Gallardo wound up getting a big bandage around his head because of the cut. A cross into the area turned into a shot that forced Monterrey’s goalkeeper Esteban Andrada to make a save. Then another cross into the area off a corner kick almost turned into a chance on goal, but Carlos Gonzalez failed to get a header off it. Monterrey though couldn’t clear the ball, and Toluca sent the ball into the area where Leonardo Fernandez got the ball and got off a rocket. His left footed shot went past Andrada and into the net for the 1-0 lead on a great goal. Toluca then wasted a great chance when a cross into the area found a wide open Andres Mosquera, but his header went well wide. Monterrey also wasted a great chance off a free kick when Luis Romo got a header that went wide. A shot from Rodolfo Pizarro then forced a great save from Toluca’s goalkeeper Carlos Gutierrez. A cross into the area found a wide open Gonzalez, who couldn’t lower the ball and instead headed it right to Andrada. It was the last chance as the halftime whistle blew and Toluca took their lead.

The second half started with Monterrey subbing out Rodolfo Pizarro, Jacobo Reyes, and Sebastian Vegas for German Berterame, Maximiliano Meza, and Alfonso Gonzalez. Monterrey had a great chance when a cross into the area found a wide open Rodrigo Aguirre, but he did a terrible job of connecting with it and sent it into the stands from close range. Monterrey came close again when a cross by Berterame had to be cleared by Mosquera and then on an ensuing play, Celso Ortiz got off a left footed shot from outside the area that went inches wide. Monterrey subbed out Ortiz for Rogelio Funes Mori, while Toluca subbed out Fernando Navarro and Haret Ortega for Raul Lopez and Jordan Sierra. Jean Meneses then got into the area and got off a left footed shot in the area, but it went wide. Then after a great cross into the area, Rodrigo Aguirre to get a solid header from close range that although Gutierrez got a hand on it, it still went in and tied the game at 1-1. Then after a good pass, Rogelio Funes Mori got a pass and got off a great right footed shot past Gutierrez, but the goal was called back for offside. Toluca subbed out Leonardo Fernandez and Jean Meneses for Daniel Alvarez and Camilo Sanvezzo, as they tried to regain control of the match. A great pass into the area found Funes Mori, who got off a right footed shot that forced Gutierrez to make a great save. Unfortunately for Funes Mori, it looked like he had hurt himself with the shot, days before the Clasico Regio. The injured Funes Mori had to be subbed out for Cesar Montes. After a cross into the area, Berterame got a header that went wide on a play where it looked like Mosquera had gotten hurt before after Gonzalez fell on his leg. Mosquera would remain in the match however but minutes later, he would fall again as it looked like a serious injury. He was subbed out for Jorge Torres Nilo. The match ended, and it was a fair tie with Toluca dominating the first half and Monterrey doing so in the second.

It was a very interesting matchup played on a Wednesday night where although Toluca keeps their place up top, Monterrey left with a better feeling as they were the better side in the second half when they sent in their better players. Coach Victor Manuel Vucetich had given priority to their match against Tigres on Saturday, and thus rested key players but once they subbed them in, they were the better side. Toluca didn’t take advantage of their first half domination and paid for it. The bad news for both sides is that they had injuries with Monterrey’s Funes Mori and Toluca’s Andres Mosquera both leaving the match which what looked to be serious injuries, especially for Mosquera. Monterrey will probably miss the striker as they face their biggest rival in Tigres on Saturday, while Toluca will be favored in their away match against Atletico San Luis.