Apertura 2017 Semifinals Game 2 Results: Monterrey 4, Morelia 0

In the last game of the semifinals, Monterrey looked to clinch the other finals berth at home against Morelia. It looked like the Rayados might have some trouble given Aviles Hurtado didn’t start because of the possible injury in Game 1…they didn’t need him as they waltzed into the Gran Final with a 4-0 win. Rogelio Funes Mori picked up the slack with a hat trick in less than an hour of play time (it only took 52 minutes, he was taken out in the 59th with the game well in hand), doubling his postseason goal total so far, and Carlos Sanchez added a PENAL! in the 20th minute. Morelia conceded way too late by pulling Raul Ruidiaz in the 55th minute but it would not have mattered anyway. Thanks to this and a 5-0 total win, Monterrey advances to a cross-city final against Tigres, the last obstacle between the champs and a potential three-peat. Game times & dates will be announced Monday (12/4) but if the original schedule holds, the games will be Thursday (12/7) & next Sunday (12/10).

Game Stats:
Goals-Rogelio Funes Mori 3 (Monterrey, 9′, 28′, 52′, 6th of playoffs), Carlos Sanchez (Monterrey, 20′, 1st of playoffs, Penalty Kick)
Shots on Goal-Nil
Corner Kicks-Morelia 3
Amarillas-Morelia 2 (Rodrigo Millar, 37′, Angel Sepulveda, 65′)

Venue: Estadio BBVA Bancomer, Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon
Attendance: 50,544 (98.4% capacity)

Next up:
Monterrey-Tigres in Gran Final
Morelia-Clausura 2018 Tournament


Ascenso MX Apertura 2017 Finals Results: Alebrijes Earn Promotion Chance

The Ascenso MX Apertura 2017 Gran Final is in the books, and the champion is Alebrijes! The second game of the finals tonight was won by FC Juarez 2-1 in extra time. The game was 0-0 through regular time but the officials gave FC Juarez every chance to score with 6+ minutes of stoppage time, because if they didn’t Alebrijes would win by virtue of a 1-0 Game 1 win. FC Juarez got the tying goal 4 minutes into stoppage time, so that ended it at 1-1, meaning extra time! The first 15 minutes were scoreless, then both sides scored in the second 15 minutes, so while FC Juarez won the game 2-1, that made it 2-2 so we go to PENALES! In the shootout, Alebrijes prevailed 4-2 for a final total score of 6-4. Alebrijes made all 4 of their shots while FC Juarez missed their first, and then their 4th and final shot, giving Alebrijes the championship and a spot in the Ascenso MX Grand Championship, where they will play for a chance to be promoted to Liga MX next year.

Apertura 2017 Semifinals Game 2 Results: Tigres 3, America 0

The first ticket to the Gran Final was punched tonight, and for Tigres the three-peat is within reach. The champs easily cruised into their 3rd straight Apertura Finals with a 3-0 win over America. The first half was scoreless but Tigres took over and America fell apart after halftime-Enner Valencia scored his first of 2 goals in the 55th minute, then after play resumed Guido Rodriguez picked up his second of 2 Amarillas in the game, meaning a Rojas! HE GONE! With America now down a man, it got even worse-5 minutes later Edson Alvarez got over-aggressive & tangled up with Valencia while fighting for the ball, and Alvarez got caught kicking Valencia in the ding-ding! Which means Rojas! HE GONE! America was now TWO down! Valencia scored his 2nd a few minutes later, then Andre-Pierre Gignac scored is first of the playoffs on a PENAL! With the 4-0 total aggregate win, Tigres will now wait to find out if they will play cross-town rivals Monterrey or more distant Morelia in the finals.

Game Stats:
Goals-Enner Valencia 2 (Tigres, 55′, 71′, 2nd of playoffs), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres, 75′, 1st of playoffs, Penalty Kick)
Shots on Goal-Tigres 6, America 4
Corner Kicks-Tigres 3, America 2
Amarillas-America 5 (Guido Rodriguez, 34′, Paul Aguilar, 39′, Oribe Peralta, 61′, Agustin Marchesin, 66′, Darwin Quintero, 69′), Tigres 2 (Jesus Duenas, 33′, Jorge Torres, 45′)
Rojas-America 2 (Rodriguez, 59′, Edson Alvarez, 65′)

Venue: Estadio Universitario, San Nicolas de los Garza, Nuevo Leon
Attendance: 41,580 (99.2% capacity)

Next up:
Tigres-TBA vs. Monterrey or Morelia in Finals
America-Clausura 2018 Tournament

Apertura 2017 Semifinals Game 1 Results: Monterrey 1, Morelia 0

The second semifinal began tonight with Morelia hosting Monterrey. In a close game largely defined by defense Monterrey moved to 90 minutes away from the Gran Final with a 1-0 win. Aviles Hurtado scored the only goal on a PENAL! in the 38th minute, but was forced out midway through the second half due to an apparent upper leg/thigh injury (non-contact). Monterrey goalie Hugo Gonzalez made several big saves and overcame an injury concern of is own late in the game to secure the victory. This means Monterrey goes home this weekend with the big advantage as well as their still-perfect home mark on the season.

Game Stats:
Goals-Aviles Hurtado (Monterrey, 38′, 2nd of playoffs, Penalty Kick)
Shots on Goal-Morelia 3, Monterrey 1
Corner Kicks-Morelia 4, Monterrey 2
Amarillas-Monterrey 3 (Hugo Gonzalez, 42′, Carlos Sanchez, 76′, John Medina, 82′), Morelia 1 (Jorge Zarate, 79′)

Venue: Estadio Morelos, Morelia, Michoacan
Attendance: 30,494 (87.3% capacity)

Next up: Game 2 Sunday at Monterrey

Apertura 2017 Semifinals Game 1 Results: Tigres 1, America 0

The semifinals began tonight with the first game of Tigres-America, a rematch of last year’s Apertura 2016 Gran Final. It was, as expected, a physical & spirited game that was very close all the way, but in the end the champs came away with a 1-0 win on the road. The difference was an Anselmo Junior PENAL! in the 48th minute. With the victory, and more importantly the road goal, Tigres heads home with a huge advantage in Game 2, and as of now virtually every tiebreaker. America must win Game 2 by at least 2 goals to prevent the champs from moving one step away from the Apertura 3-peat.

Game Stats:
Goals-Anselmo Junior (Tigres, 48′, 1st of playoffs, Penalty Kick)
Shots on Goal-Tigres 5, America 2
Corner Kicks-Tigres 8, America 4
Amarillas-Tigres 3 (Rafael De Souza, 18′, Jorge Torres, 26′, Andre-Pierre Gignac, 68′), America 3 (Bruno Valdez, 48′, Paul Aguilat, 59′, Agustin Marchesin, 90+2′)

Venue: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
Attendance: 31,566 (38.9% capacity)

Next up: Game 2 Saturday at Tigres

Cruz Azul Looking For New Coach

According to an ESPN FC report, Cruz Azul coach Paco Jemez left the team yesterday following the apparent conclusion of a 1-year contract he signed last November. Jemez is returning to his native Spain to be closer to family. This tournament he guided Cruz Azul to their first playoff appearance in 3 years although they lost to America by the third tiebreaker after a 0-0 tie (worse regular season finish, 6th to America’s 3rd). No word yet on a potential replacement.

Necaxa Promotes Ascenso Player For Next Tournament

While Atletico Zacatepec may not get promoted from Ascenso MX to Liga MX this year, one of its players just did-midfielder Fernando Gonzalez (Fernando Ruben Gonzalez Pineda) has just been signed by Necaxa and will join them for the Clausura 2018 Tournament. Gonzalez made his Liga MX debut in 2013, appearing in 4 games for Guadalajara in the Clausura 2013 Tournament. He debuted in 2010 for the Chivas’ Tercera Division (3rd Division) team, also spending time with Guadalajara’s Segunda Division (2nd Division), U-17 & U-20 teams, and was on the Chivas’ COPA MX A 2014 squad but did not play. After the Clausura 2015 he moved to then-Ascenso MX team Coras FC for the Apertura 2015, including 3 COPA MX A 2015 appearances, briefly returning to 2nd Division Guadalajara Premier for the Clausura 2016 before going back up to Coras FC, then jumping to Atletico Zacatepec for this year following Coras’ demotion to Liga Premier. Gonzalez has 8 career goals across all levels, most in the U-20 but has one career Ascenso MX goal one goal in the 3rd Division. He will turn 24 in late January.

Source: Club Necaxa press release