Tigres and Monarcas switched spots in the Liga MX table last week. Now they face off as the current holders of the 7th and 8th Liguilla spots.
Last week, both Tigres and Monarcas came away with points. Unfortunately for Tigres, they only managed a single point against Lobos BUAP. Monarcas have won three of their last five matches and worked their way back into the Liguilla spots of the Liga MX table. Their last loss was on September 30 against that Lobos BUAP side. The six degrees of Lobos BUAP completes itself in Morelia, Mexico on November 2 at 8 pm CDT.
Monarcas: W @ Chivas Guadalajara 2-1
Despite allowing a quick goal to Angel Zaldivar in the 5th minute of the match, Monarcas controlled the bulk of the play. An own-goal off of Fernando Beltran in the 49th minute added new life to Monarcas. Sebastian Vegas put Morelia ahead for good in the 68th minute and Sebastian Sosa made six total saves to preserve the Monarcas 2-1 victory.
Tigres: D v Lobos 2-2
Tigres started the match well, controlling the ball to the tune of 72% possession in the 1st half. All that good work was undone by a Luis Rodriguez handball in the box in the 43rd minute. The on-fire Leo Ramos smashed home the penalty to put Lobos up 1-0 before halftime. Julian Quinones came on at the half for Rafael Duran and ties the score in the 58th minute. He would get a brace and push Tigres into the lead in the 79th minute, bringing new life to his Tigres side. In the 87th minute, however, Maza got free for the equalizing marker and Lobos would hang on for a thrilling draw on the road.
Guzman – Loeschbor – Achilier – Vegas
Fierro – Millar – Rocha – Vilchis
Sansores – Ferreira
Since their 3-1 loss to Lobos, Monarcas have started out in a 4-4-2, with Diego Valdes relegated to the bench. Clearly it has been a success, as Monarcas have not lost since. Averaging two goals a match since that last loss, Miguel Sansores and Sebastian Ferreira have helped make the Monarcas attack dangerous. The two forwards lead Monarcas with five and three goals, respectively.
Rodriguez – Ayala – Juninho – Duenas
Pizarro – Carioca
Quinones – Vargas – Aquino
After his two-goal performance against Lobos, it will be hard to keep Julian Quinones out of the starting eleven. The Colombian was electric after coming on and Tigres will hope he brings that same impact against a theoretically better Monarcas side. Otherwise, the starters will likely remain the same. Tigres is a sleeping giant, but they need to wake up soon or they risk missing out of the Apertura Liguilla.
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Monarcas: Sebastian Vegas. With only five matches to his name in this Aperutra, Vegas has managed three goals to his name from his left-back position. His insertion into the starting eleven has coincided with Monarcas current three game winning-streak. Coincidence? I think not!
Tigres: Eduardo Vargas. Since a “ho-hum” performance in a draw against Pachuca. Vargas has steadily improved. Tigres need him to be a driver in the attacking center midfield role behind Andre-Pierre Gignac to truly reach their potential, though.
The summary of this match is the hot team against the better roster. Tigres roster is so much better than 8th in Liga MX, and, as we’ve said all year, they need to snap out of their sleepwalk. I think it will start to happen for them this week, but it won’t be enough to completely snuff out the flame that is keeping Monarcas hot.