MONTERREY, Mexico – Monterrey remains in top form ahead of this weekend’s Mexican-league showdown against Tigres UANL, although it needed a penalty shootout to edge America 0-0 (3-0) and advance to the final of the Copa MX Apertura cup tournament.
During 90 minutes of scoreless play at Estadio BBVA Bancomer, host Monterrey controlled ball possession and created the greater number of scoring chances. But it could not find the back of the net due to miscues by its forwards and timely interventions by America’s defenders and net minder.
Colombian striker Dorlan Pabon had a penalty chance that could have given Monterrey the victory in second-half stoppage time, but America goalkeeper Oscar Jimenez dove to his right to stop the powerful blast.
In the penalty shootout, Argentines Rogelio Funes Mori, Leonel Vangioni and Nicolas Sanchez scored for Monterrey, while America failed on all three of its attempts.
Monterrey, which is at the top of the table in the Mexican soccer league’s Apertura championship and has already qualified for the playoffs, will square off in the Copa MX Apertura final (at a date to be determined) against either Pachuca or Atlante.
On Saturday, Monterrey (34 points) will host crosstown rival Tigres UANL (second in the league standings with 32 points and already playoff-bound) in the so-called Clasico Regiomontano soccer derby, their final game of the regular season.
Third-placed America, which has 27 points and also has qualified for the eight-team Apertura playoffs, will take on 13th-placed Santos Laguna on Sunday.