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′)
Rojas-Nil

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

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

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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′)
Rojas-Nil

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

Next up: Game 2 Sunday at Monterrey

Apertura 2017 Quarterfinals Game 2 Results: Morelia 2, Toluca 1

The second Quarterfinals Game 2 today wrapped up the Toluca-Morelia series, and it was maybe the most physical and hard-fought game of the year so far. The regulation score was 2-1 Morelia. All the goals were scored in the opening 15 minutes-Toluca took the early lead on Fernando Uribe’s 3rd minute goal, but Raul Ruidiaz quickly answered with a 5th minute goal, and in what set the tone for the remainder of the game Angel Sepulveda scored in the 15th minute on what clearly was a fuera de lugar no-call that should’ve denied Morelia the goal. From there it really got chippy, moreso as time wound down in the second half along with 5 minutes of extra time-as extra time started, Toluca got so fed up with the officiating that both head coach Hernan Cristante and assistant coach Jose Rangel both got Rojas! THEY GONE! Their offseason will be at least a week longer as a result. But Morelia didn’t get off scot-free, just after that Miguel Sansores was the victim of a bad back-induced flop by a Toluca player-and very good acting-and got a Rojas! HE GONE! The physicality and arguments, especially by Toluca, continued after the final whistle. With the 2-1 Morelia win, they tied at 3-3, away goals were 1-1, home goals were 2-2, so by virtue of being the #4 seed in the final standings over the #5 seed, Morelia advances to the semifinals. Tomorrow they will know who they will play, and they will be hoping for major upsets as they will need them to avoid Monterrey or Tigres in the next round.

Game Stats:
Goals-Fernando Uribe (Toluca, 3′, 2nd of playoffs), Raul Ruidiaz (Morelia, 5′, 2nd of playoffs), Angel Sepulveda (Morelia, 15′, 1st of playoffs)
Shots on Goal-Nil
Corner Kicks-Morelia 7, Toluca 5
Amarillas-Toluca 3 (Santiago Garcia, 45′, Rodrigo Salinas, 63′, Rubens Sambueza, 74′), Morelia 2 (Gabriel Achiller, 25′, Sebastian Vegas, 74′)
Rojas-Toluca 2 (Hernan Cristante, head coach, 90+1′), Jose Rangel, assistant coach, 90+1′), Morelia 1 (Miguel Sansores, 90+4′)

Venue: Estadio Morelos, Morelia, Michoacan
Attendance: 26,094 (74.7% capacity)

Next up:
Morelia-TBA in Semifinals
Toluca-Clausura 2018 Tournament

Apertura 2017 Quarterfinals Game 1 Results: Toluca 2, Morelia 1

The Apertura 2017 Gran Fiesta kicked off earlier tonight, with Game 1 of the 4-5 matchup, Toluca vs. Morelia. It looked like Morelia was going to steal a huge win on the road, but Toluca saved the best for last and rallied to stun Morelia 2-1 at home. The game was scoreless for the first hour-plus until Toluca made the grave mistake of giving Raul Ruidiaz a PENAL! in the 65th minute, which of course was converted for a 1-0 Morelia lead. But with regular time about to expire, Fernando Uribe saved the day with a 90th minute goal for Toluca to tie the game, then in the 4 minutes of extra time Pablo Barrientos scored the go-ahead goal for the home team. While Toluca will take an overall lead into Game 2, Morelia did get an important away goal for the early tiebreaker advantage-but they still have to win in order to have any chance to advance, and if Toluca scores a very rare away goal (they only scored 4 all season on the road in 7 games) then Morelia must win by at least 2 goals to advance. But given Toluca was the worst team on the road in the regular season, Morelia still, on paper at least, has the advantage.

Game Stats:
Goals-Raul Ruidiaz (Morelia, 65′, 1st of playoffs, Penalty Kick), Fernando Uribe (Toluca, 90′, 1st of playoffs), Pablo Barrientos (Toluca, 90+2′, 1st of playoffs)
Shots on Goal-Toluca 5, Morelia 2
Corner Kicks-Toluca 4, Morelia 4
Amarillas-Morelia 2 (Mario Osuna, 61′, Aldo Rocha, 76′), Toluca 1 (Jesus Mendez, 47′)
Rojas-Nil

Venue: Estadio Nemesio Diez, Toluca
Attendance: 15,799 (50.9% capacity)

Next up: Game 2 Saturday at Morelia

Apertura 2017 Week 17 Results: Morelia 2, Necaxa 1

In the final game of the night, Necaxa looked to lock up the final playoff berth against playoff-bound Morelia. But in the end, the visitors proved too much and Morelia ended Necaxa’s playoff hopes with a 2-1 win. Mario Osuna scored Morelia’s first goal in the 18th minute, then Raul Ruidiaz added his 9th of the tournament 5 minutes later for a 2-0 lead. Martin Barragan got Necaxa on the board with a goal at the start of the 2nd half, and despite several tries Necaxa just couldn’t get the ball past Morelia’s defense, including a last-second denial that likely cost them a tie, and so their season is over. As a result, Atlas has clinched the final playoff spot thanks to their tie last night-but this blessing may be a curse as their quarterfinal destination will be none other than Monterrey. With the win, Morelia moves into the #3 spot for now but will be no worse than #4 depending on how America fares tomorrow-that game will also determine Morelia’s quarterfinal foe from among Leon, Toluca or Cruz Azul.

Game Stats:
Goals-Mario Osuna (Morelia, 18′, 1st of tournament), Raul Ruidiaz (Morelia, 23′, 9th of tournament), Martin Barragan (Necaxa, 45′, 3rd of tournament)
Shots on Goal-Necaxa 4, Morelia 1
Corner Kicks-Morelia 3, Necaxa 3
Amarillas-Necaxa 2 (Igor Lichnovsky, 53′, Luis Perez, 75′), Morelia 2 (Aldo Rocha, 82′, Osuna, 90+4′)
Rojas-Nil

Venue: Estadio Victoria, Aguascalientes
Attendance: 17,750 (74.4% capacity)

Next up:
Morelia-TBA in quarterfinals
Necaxa-Clausura 2018 Tournament

Apertura 2017 Week 16 Results: Cruz Azul 2, Morelia 1

The penultimate week of the Apertura 2017 regular season began tonight with Morelia hosting Cruz Azul in an important game for both teams’ playoff hopes. In an effort that could very well save their season from disaster, Cruz Azul came away with a huge 2-1 road victory. Felipe Mora scored both Cruz Azul goals in the 3rd & 27th minutes, while Morelia’s only goal came on a Diego Valdes free kick in the 56th minute. But Valdes also hurt Morelia now & later because as soon as the game ended, he said something to the referee and earned a Rojas! HE GONE! So now his regular season is over because he’ll miss next week, and this loss means there is still a chance Morelia misses the playoffs if everything goes perfectly wrong for them. As for Cruz Azul, this win combined with the Atlas tie earlier this week gets them back into the top 8 for now, bumping Toluca onto the bubble as Cruz Azul currently holds 7th. Morelia has the tougher matchup in their finale as they host Necaxa in a potential playoff spot-decider, while Cruz Azul gets an easier possible in as they host Veracruz.

Game Stats:
Goals-Felipe Mora 2 (Cruz Azul, 3′, 27′, 7th of tournament), DIego Valdes (Morelia, 56′, 5th of tournament)
Shots on Goal-Cruz Azul 4
Corner Kicks-Cruz Azul 6, Morelia 4
Amarillas-Cruz Azul 4 (Julian Velazquez, 55′, Gabriel Penalba, 58′, Gerardo Flores, 78′, Edgar Mendez, 90+1′), Morelia 4 (Valdes, 38′, Gabriel Achiller, 70′, Jefferson Cuero, 79′, Rodrigo Millar, 90+3′)
Rojas-Morelia 1 (Valdes, End of game)

Venue: Estadio Morelos, Morelia, Michoacan
Attendance: TBA

Next up:
Morelia-at Necaxa (11/18)
Cruz Azul-Veracruz (11/18)

Apertura 2017 Week 15 Results: Morelia 1, Toluca 0

In another potential playoff preview matchup, Toluca looked to firm up it’s playoff chances and extend their home-best record this year against Morelia, but the hosts’ recent struggles continued as they suffered their first home loss of the year 1-0. The only goal was scored by Diego Valdes in the 57th minute. Toluca had lots of chances near the end to tie it up, including a PENAL! in the TEN minutes extra time at the end of the game, but Pablo Barrientos was denied and as the game ended, Osvaldo Gonzalez handicapped Toluca next week with a Rojas! HE GONE! He’s out at least next week. The win moves Morelia into 3rd and greatly improves their playoff odds while Toluca is now only 2 points ahead of 8th place Cruz Azul and having to overcome their severe road woes next week while not getting upset at Veracruz. Morelia can actually return the favor today by helping Toluca Friday night as they host Cruz Azul.

Game Stats:
Goals-Diego Valdes (Morelia, 57′, 4th of tournament)
Shots on Goal-Morelia 2
Corner Kicks-Toluca 6, Morelia 2
Amarillas-Toluca 3 (Jesus Mendez, 40′, Pablo Barrientos, 84′, Fernando Uribe, 90′), Morelia 2 (Emanuel Loeschbor, 85′, Mario Osuna, 90+5′)
Rojas-Toluca 1 (Osvaldo Gonzalez, 90+10′)

Venue: Estadio Nemesio Diez, Toluca
Attendance: 15,606 (50.3% capacity)

Next up:
Toluca-at Veracruz (11/5)
Morelia-Cruz Azul (11/3)