Monterrey loses to Toluca with Clasico approaching.

Tigres, Rayados, Clasico
Monterrey lost for the first time this season at Toluca with a performance that was not expected. The Striped Ones were looking somewhat solid in their previous games and were showing a different style of play that was being approved by the always passionate fans. Toluca has always been a tough place for Monterrey and on very rare occasions do they leave with a win. Monterrey came into the game having won one game and drawing two in the first three games of Liga MX action. They beat a good Queretaro side the previous week and another win was looming in the eyes of the fans. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Rayados showed us some of the poor soccer we got accustomed to last season.

Players were playing out of position and things got off to a bad start when Monterrey conceded a goal off a corner kick - something that has been a constant problem over the years. There is a soccer saying that goes a little something like this, “Two headers in the box will end in a goal” well this time it was three. If the other team wins three uncontested headers in a three second span, they deserve the goal. Soon after the goal, Profe Cruz was forced to make a sub because Toluca was winning the midfield battle; Ricardo Osorio was the first to hit the showers. Someone on Twitter said it best, “If subs are being made in the first half and they are not due to an injury, the coach is at fault”. I couldn't agree more. Playing guys out of position is not the best of ideas, especially an old Osorio who hasn’t played in the center of the pitch throughout his career.

The first half ended with Toluca pressuring the Monterrey defense and the Striped Ones were fortunate to have gone to the locker room only down 1-0. To start the second half, Profe Cruz made yet another change as Othoniel Arce came onto the field for Cesar Delgado who was having a bad game. Is it me or does Delgado play well just once every three months? I hope I’m not the only person that sees this. As for the action, the second half replayed the same story as the first. Monterrey’s scoring opportunities were again scarce. Jesús Zavala soon left the pitch and made room for Wilson Morelo, Monterrey’s offseason acquisition. Morelo brought lots of energy, as he has in previous opportunities, but that wasn't good enough to beat Toluca who is now tied with Cruz Azul in first place with 10 points. Toluca finally put the game out of reach towards the end, and Monterrey was on its way to their first defeat.

Up next for Monterrey is the ever important derby against Tigres. Tigres comes into the game having only one point and Monterrey will be looking to take advantage of Tigres’ current form. With a win, Monterrey can start moving forward with their chances of making the playoff becoming more of a reality. A loss could take a toll on Monterrey; a second straight defeat something that nobody wishes for. There is a lot riding on this game for both teams, therefore we should expect both teams to leave it all on the pitch. I will keep my prediction short. The Striped Ones win the match 2-0.

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