Los Rayados figures to take advantage of an average Lobos BUAP side to return to winning ways after a disappointing draw with Pumas.
Monterrey seemed to make a statement with its controversial home win over Club America in Matchday 4, but failed to capitalize on their good form against Pumas last weekend.
And though the Rayados are sitting pretty atop the league standings, Monterrey fans will want their side to return to winning ways and grab a vital 3 points against an outmanned Lobos BUAP side on Saturday night.
Lobos BUAP will be looking for a strong away performance in order to check a disappointing run of results including last weekend’s draw against Pachuca. They will know Monterrey has exhibited some defensive weaknesses, especially with their failure to see games out and the visitors will try and exploit that Saturday night.
Pumas 1, Monterrey 1
A bitterly disappointing game for Monterrey who once again saw an early lead come to nothing as Pumas fought back and found a late equalizer. Making this worse, is the fact that UNAM defender Luis Fernando Quintana was sent to the showers with a red card in minute 26 and Dorlan Pabón scored off the ensuing free kick. Monterrey played patiently with the lead, perhaps too patiently, and in minute 83 they paid the price as Juan Iturbe fired from outside 25 meters and caught a deflection that wrong-footed keeper Marcelo Barovero to earn the 1-1 tie.
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Lobos BUAP 1, Pachuca 1
For a game that saw time of possession fairly even, the stats sure were skewered toward visiting Pachuca. The Tuzos got off 22 shots compared to 7 for the Lobos and the visitors had 6 shots on goal, while the hosts managed only 2 shots on goal. Keeper José Antonio Rodríguez made a brilliant save in minute 20 to keep the game scoreless and the Lobos got on the board first in minute 47. The lead was short-lived as the Lobos fell asleep on a deep throw-in and failed to mark Angelo Sagal on the back side.
Monterrey: Maxi Meza (pictured at top vs Pumas) continues to impress and will no doubt be a real cause for concern for Lobos defenders. It will also be important for Rodolfo Pizarro to start getting more game time now he has returned from injury.
Lobos: Goalkeeper Jose Antonio Rodriguez will have to be at his peak in this game if he wants to try and combat Monterrey’s offensive strength and will likely have a very long game. However if Lobos remain compact and disciplined, they could frustrate Monterrey’s attacking play and look for league-leading scorer Leo Ramos.
On paper this game is a slam dunk win for Monterrey as their roster simply outshines the Lobos line-up. However, we must take the Rayados’ recent tendency to give up late goals into consideration. They have been prone to defensive errors which cost them goals and the Lobos should be some respect. The pressure of trying to remain at the top of the table will undoubtedly tell in the players, perhaps causing mistakes and errors. I believe that Monterrey will get a narrow win but must admit I wouldn’t be surprised with another draw.