MONTERREY, Nuevo León — An exciting “clásico regiomontano,” (a match between Monterrey rivals) will come alive in Universitario stadium, as the leader at the finish of the 2016 Torneo Clausura season, the Rayados of Monterrey, will face the reigning champion of Mexican soccer, the UANL Tigres UANL, each looking to take an early advantage in the playoffs.
The match takes place Wednesday at 7:00 p.m., as los Rayados try to continue on the good pace they had set during the regular season.
Monterrey finished atop the overall standings with 37 points and opening the quarterfinals against the Tigres will also be a match for local royalty.
Managed by Antonio Mohamed, los Rayados seek to leverage the quality of their attack formed by Argentine Rogelio Funes Mori and Colombians Edwin Cardona and Dorlan Pabón to take an advantage in the first-leg of two games, weighing their score as visitors.
The team has held a hegemony over los Tigres when facing defining moments, proof seen in the 2003 Clausura semifinals when they lost on a 5-3 aggregate score.
The second occasion was in the 2013 Clausura quarterfinals, that again los Rayados triumphed, this time 2-1, and also dueling in the 2013 Copa MX Apertura 2013, in which they tied 2-2, but Monterrey advanced to the semifinals after winning 4-2 on penalties.
Now, again they meet again with the task of leading the2016 Clausura will not be easy, because the Tigres come seeking to embark on a successful path toward defending their title as “bicampeonatos.”
Los Tigres had an irregular journey to this event, but arrive after the boost of having thrashed Cruz Azul 3-0 in the final day of the season, providing their ticket to the playoffs.
The team’s Brazilian coach Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti will also try to show their offensive power, led by Frenchman André-Pierre Gignac and Brazilian Rafael Sobis.
Expectations are high for this intriguing confrontation, in which los Tigres try to take over the local reign defeating a complex Monterrey side, before the second-leg match to be held at the Rayados home, Estadio BBVA Bancomer, located in Guadalupe, Nuevo León, in Greater Monterrey.