I enjoyed the holiday weekend: eating too much, a blue northern crashed through (Thanksgiving is weird when its 80 degrees outside, so the cold blast was nice), and I got a little time off. It was a little discouraging, though, to see teams in which I am emotionally invested fall apart one by one. I am a grown up, though (right?), so I tried like hell not to let it ruin my weekend. It didn't.
Sunday night, Monterrey put an end to my misery, as well as Pumas’ improbable Liguilla run with a well deserved 2-0 victory. The goals didn’t come until late in the second half.
All Pumas needed to do was win the game in order to make it to the final. But they never threatened the goal at all the entire game. It’s hard to win games when you let the opposing keeper spend most of his time checking out the pretty regias in the stands than stop shots. He plenty of the former, and didn't have to do any of the latter. I know I'm slow, but even I know shots on goal are needed to score goals. Pumas had none.
Even in its defensive posture, Monterrey was much more active on the attack, and finally let the supporters breathe easy when Chupete Suazo’s brilliant first touch sprung him on a break-away.
Monterrey faces Santos in the Final (Thursday, Telefutura 8PM CST). These two teams may not have the national appeal as some other teams, (I have heard this final called “el Final del Rancho”). They both play a very attractive brand of futbol, though, so it will be an entertaining affair.
Santos Laguna didn’t have to suffer as much as Monterrey did, despite what their 3-3 scoreline vs. America may indicate. The reality is that Santos was like a cat who had captured its prey, and was now in the throes of its 90 minute long game, “so you think you can escape.”
Every time America scored, Santos answered emphatically. The Goal Scientist, Carlos Darwin Quintero, and Christian Bentiez go the scores. The outcome never really was in doubt.
Santos’ coach, Ruben Omar Romano has made it to three finals, but has yet to hoist the trophy aloft. Victor Manuel Vucetich, conversely, has been successful in each of the 4 finals in which he has been coach. Will the trends continue?