Monterrey has been up-and-down but has been able to snatch results with late goals. A resurgent Puebla side promises a tough test.
After last weekend’s stirring 3-2 comeback win at Morelia, Monterrey is still looking to find consistent form, but will likely make use of home-field advantage to see out a crucial win against Puebla.
Puebla are no pushover, however, and always put up a strong fight. The Camoteros have not lost since Feb. 2 loss against Necaxa, and they come into this game with confidence so the home side will not have it easy.
Monterrey has a chance to reclaim the top spot (the tigres, their crosstown rivals leaped over the Rayados with a win Friday night), and a win will move them one step closer to clinching a playoff spot.
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Monarcas 2, Monterrey 3
League-leading scorer Rogelio Funes Mori put the visiting Rayados upe early but by the hour mark Monterrey was trailing 2-1. A defiant fightback ensured all 3 points went back to Monterrey (another goal by Funes Mori and an injury-time winner from Carlos Rodríguez), but questions remain about their shaky defense and their inability to comfortably control games.
Puebla 1, Pachuca 1
Matías Alustiza played the hero, netting the equalizer in minute 90+3 against a side that has been inconsistent thus far (although the Tuzos are in 7th place). Puebla has gone 2-2-0 since their 4-1 loss to Necaxa and new coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola had only been on the job a week, so he was still tinkering with line-ups and tactics against Pachuca. Despite their slow start and the sacking of Enrique Meza, Puebla showed once again they can’t be underestimated and are capable of causing real problems for any side.
Monterrey: Striker Rogelio Funes Mori is the best attacker on the roster (and perhaps in the league, as well) and he arrives to Matchday 8 in top form. His confidence and clever movement will be a problem for Puebla’s defenders.
Puebla: Matias Alustiza has earned a starting spot after returning to the Camoteros from UNAM. His timely scoring has earned 4 points for Puebla already and he will play a crucial role against Monterrey and its shaky defense.
This should be another close game and could feature plenty of goals; past results suggest this will be a high-scoring game. Puebla’s defense has become more stable since the Necaxa loss and their performance against the league’s best offense could be the key. I look for Monterrey to steal a result with a late equalizer.