It was a demolishing performance by Club America, as they strolled through Monterrey with a 3-0 victory in the first leg of their semifinal affair.
At the beginning of this game, Monterrey manager, Carlos Barra, opted to use the same lineup that Monterrey used in their 2-0 quarterfinal win against Atlas. Humberto Suazo, in what could had been his last home game as a Monterrey player, was downgraded to the bench once more. On the other hand, Club America was without their starting right-back, Paul Aguilar.
Things looked bright for Monterrey early. They were the team holding on to possession of the ball, and they looked like the most incessant side.
Things would change rapidly, however. In the 33rd minute, Oribe Peralta would deliver a diagonal cross from the left. Luis Angel “Quick” Mendoza would meet it at the other end with a right-footed shot on goal. The shot would take a deflection into the back of the net to put America up 1-0.
Two minutes later, Hiram Mier would get a second yellow for throwing an elbow. Monterrey would go down to 10 men.
Mier’s red card would prove even more harmful to his team with the consequential freekick. In the 36th minute, Osvaldo Martinez would send a cross into the box that would evade nearly everyone before nestling into the back of the net, Efrain Velarde would get a slight touch. America were in the driver’s seat.
It was a demoralizing first-half for Monterrey, and for the second half, Carlos Barra would substitute in his plethora of veteran attackers from the bench. But things wouldn’t go quite the same way they did versus Atlas, America continued to look lethal on the break.
In the 82nd minute, Quick Mendoza would capitalize on a beautiful breakaway. Mendoza and Peralta would combine with swift passes, before laying off the ball to Michael Arroyo. Arroyo would dribble past his marker to send a diagonal cross into the box. From there it was an easy finish, Quick Mendoza would be there to cradle the ball into the back of the net for his second.
It could have been worse for Monterrey if it weren’t for their goalkeeper, Jonathan Orozco. In injury time, America almost made it 4-0 ,but Orozco would spare Monterrey from any further blushes.
Monterrey now have the difficult task to go into the Estadio Azteca and score a minimum of 4 goals to qualify to the Liga MX final.