With their Liga MX season apparently back in order, the Rayados shift their focus to Copa MX Matchday 2.
It took two straight road losses and a lackluster first half in the home opener in Week 3 vs. Leon for the regios to wake up and smell the roses. And boy, did they. Rogelio Funes Mori scored in the closing moments of the first half, and the Rayados appeared to wake up.
Right off the bat in the second half, Monterrey created a flurry of attacks that we know this Rayados offense is capable of.
A header by Nico Sanchez straight at goalie Rodolfo Cota, a shot by Miguel Layun from outside the box whistled past the left post, another shot by Maxi Meza that Cota did a good job to keep out. Then came the inevitable: a header by center-back Cesar Montes to tie the game at 2.
And finally, a great touch by Meza put the ball at Funes Mori’s feet for the game winner. And so, just like that, the Rayados seem to be back on track in Liga MX.
Now attention turns to the Copa MX. In their Cup opener in the Estadio BBVA, the Rayados barely pulled out a win against a feisty and tougher-than-they-look Leones Negros team, beating the second division club by a 2-1 score. The result has them atop Group 2. On Tuesday, Monterrey travels to the south of Mexico to take on the Cafetaleros de Chiapas in the Estadio Victor Manuel Reyna.
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The Cafetaleros are coming off their opening Ascenso MX game of the Apertura 2019 this past Saturday against the Cimarrones de Sonora, a goalless draw, in which they had their fair share of opportunities to win.
So, who do the Rayados have to watch out for in this Ascenso MX team? Two main players, if head coach Gabriel Pereyra does decide to play them. First off, speedy Colombian Franco Arizala (yes, the once Pachuca, Jaguares, Atlas, and Puebla striker). Now 33, his speed may not be the same it once was, but the danger each time he takes control of the ball will always exist, especially when it comes to Monterrey’s slow defenders who seem to always be hurt by fast-paced players.
Secondly, Mexican left winger Simon Almeida. At 24 years of age, he is nearing his prime, and he showed many skills handling the ball on Saturday. He can definitely pose a threat to the regio defense.
And just for the sake of not leaving anything out, Christian “Hobbit” Bermudez is also a part of this team. So, quality does exist, and if Monterrey thinks they can just come in and walk around to get a win, they could be wrong.
The Rayados should be able to manage this game without trouble. The Cafetaleros have a couple of dangerous offensive pieces, but are not blessed with resounding talent in other positions. If coach Diego Alonso’s team comes out with a decisive offensive game plan, the Chiapanecos should stand no chance.