CF Monterrey advanced to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League with an agonic 1-1 draw against Guatemalan side Xelaju at the Tecnologico stadium. The Rayados are looking to win their third consecutive Champions League; competition that leads to a ticket to the FIFA Clubs World Cup.
A capacity crowd filled the Tecnologico stadium in Nuevo Leon state to see the Rayados take on the Guatemalan champions. Despite allowing control of the pitch to the visitors, the fans continued to cheer on their team. Victor Manuel Vucetich opted for an alternative side that had several big names and a couple receiving the opportunity to show their trade.
It was this alternate team that the Chivos took advantage of in the first half. From the start Xelaju moved their players ahead trying to surprise the Mexicans. They needed to win by three goals if they wanted to advance to the semifinals of the continental championship.
The visitors surprised the home side on a set piece with a minute left in regulation. Sergio Morales took the shot and found an unmarked Santiago Taylor. The Guatemalan player elevated himself and headed the ball into an area that alternative goalkeeper Juan de Dios Ibarra was not covering. Xelaju surprised the Mexican squad with less than a minute left in the first 45 of play.
Monterrey Coach Victor Manuel Vucetich must have spoken with his team during the break because the Mexicans came out with a better game. Vucetich brought in Jesus Corona in the 62nd minute. He quickly made a difference on the pitch.
The home side earned a free kick in the 63rd minute just outside the penalty box. Ecuadorian Walter Ayovi took the free kick. He fired over the defensive wall to goalkeeper Fernando Patterson’s left corner. Patterson didn’t move as he saw the ball sail into his net for the 1-1.
The Pandilla increased the pressure forcing the Guatemalans back on their heels. For a few minutes after the goal the Central Americans could not regain their composure as the 3rd Place FIFA Clubs World Cup participant regained control of their field.
Xelaju held their ground as the Rayados continued to attack. Patterson saved his squad from several goals and became the key factor in the Guatemalan draw. After 90 minutes, the game ended with a 1-1 draw. Monterrey advances to the semifinals and awaits the winner of MLS side L.A. Galaxy- Herediano of Costa Rica match.