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CF Monterrey suffered a shock defeat in the first leg of their first playoff match of the Apertura 2023 season against San Luis
Ricardo Chavez scored the only goal of the match in the 21st minute as San Luis held on to clinch a crucial win at home
San Luis are yet to lose a competitive match against Monterrey this season, as the league-phase encounter in July this year ended in a 1-1 draw
Our Pick: CF Monterrey to win.
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Monterrey are winless in their last two matches – the last regular season encounter against Queretaro FC ended in a goalless draw before San Luis handed the five-time Liga MX champions a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of the playoff quarterfinals.
On the other hand, San Luis have ended their five-game winless run with two back-to-back wins. The club won their play-in encounter 3-2 against Club Leon and held on to their nerves to clinch a stellar 1-0 win against Monterrey in the home leg of the quarterfinals.
The odds backed Monterrey to win the away leg, but San Luis put up a spectacular performance to nab a narrow win. However, it may not be enough for them to glide through to the semifinals. Monterrey are favorites to bounce back in their own backyard and clinch a much-needed win.
Since 2010, across all competitions, these two teams have clashed 23 times. Monterrey have won eight games, while San Luis recently picked up their seventh win over Monterrey. Eight games have ended in draws.
San Luis have dodged defeat against Monterrey in their last two encounters but lost 3-1 when the two sides last met at Estadio BBVA in the Clausura 2023 season. Rogelio Funes Mori scored a stellar hattrick that evening, and Leo scored a consolation goal for the visitors.
In the Clausura 2022 playoffs, San Luis beat Monterrey 3-1 on penalties after the game ended 2-2 in regulation time. In that season, German Berterame was a San Luis player. This season, he has scored four goals in eight appearances for Monterrey.
There was a gap of almost three weeks between Monterrey’s final league clash with Queretaro FC and their first playoff match against San Luis. Due to the lack of match fitness, the players looked sluggish, especially in the final third.
In the second leg, the squad will be warmed up and playing on their own turf, a surface on which they have won six and lost two out of eight fixtures in the regular season. Hence, Monterrey are still favorites to turn this score around in the second leg.
Coach Fernando Ortiz has much to do regarding tactics for the upcoming encounter. The main area of concern will be the left flank, from where most San Luis attacks manifested.
The game’s solitary goal also came from the same flank. Left-back Jesus Gallardo will have to step up his game, and Maximiliano Meza may have to drop deep and provide support.
Esteban Andrada made six saves against San Luis. Approaching the hour mark, the Argentine denied Leo in a one-on-one situation and later denied Sebastien Lamonge and Jhon Murillo.
The keeper must maintain this fiery form in case his defense falters again. San Luis will be quick on the counter, and Andrada will certainly be called into action in the second leg.
San Luis caught Monterrey on the back foot in the first leg. A barrage of attacks saw them dominate the game and ball possession. However, in the second leg, things might change, and the visitors may switch to their counter-attacking gameplay.
In the home leg, San Luis attempted 17 shots. They could have had more than a goal, but their strikers were not clinical, and the opposition keeper did well to thwart multiple golden opportunities.
While the attacking department was agile and quick, the defensive department committed errors that could have been costly on any other day.
On more than one occasion, San Luis dug their own grave with risky passes in the defensive third. Monterrey failed to capitalize, but that could change in the second leg.
Leo came very close to ending his goal drought but was denied by a stellar save in a one-on-one situation against Monterrey in the first leg.
Another blank in the last match has extended the Brazilian’s goalless streak to seven games. His fifth and last goal for the club came against Necaxa in October.
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Teams: CF Monterrey vs. Atletico de San Luis
Location: Estadio BBVA
Time: Saturday, December 2 at 10:10 pm ET
How to Watch: Univision, Telemundo, Fox Sports, ESPN, Vix and Sling TV
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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