Rogelio Funes Mori, above, is congratulated by his teammates after scoring the Rayados' first goal against Cruz Azul, in a match of the Mexican Apertura tournament, at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, on Sunday, November 21, 2021. (AP Photo / Alejandro Godínez)

MEXICO CITY (AP) – During the week, Peruvian coach Juan Reynoso claimed to have the antidote to bring Cruz Azul out of his slumber. It did not happen that way.

With a double by Rogelio Funes Mori on Sunday, Monterrey thrashed the Machine 4-1 on Sunday, which six months after breaking a long drought without titles, handed over its championship in the reclassification of the Mexico Apertura tournament.

Funes Mori, a naturalized Mexican of Argentine origin, put the Rayados in front at nine minutes with a penalty and added a goal at 59, while Argentine Maximiliano Meza scored another goal in the match at 26.

Dutchman Vincent Janssen sealed the account at 85 for Monterrey, which has the most expensive payroll in Mexico and will now face Atlas in one of the quarterfinal series.

The Rayados repeated the dose to the Machine, which they beat by an identical 4-1 last September, for the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League – where they eventually won the championship.

In the other quarterfinal keys, America will meet Pumas, León against Puebla and Tigres with Santos.

The schedules of the confrontations will be known on Monday in the Mexican Soccer Federation.

The Peruvian Yoshimar Yotún converted from a penalty at 30 for the Machine, which in the Clausura won its first league title since Winter 97.

But this tournament, the celestial team lived an irregular campaign and although Reynoso affirmed that everything would change in the league, he could not achieve it.

Monterrey went ahead when Julio César Domínguez committed a hand inside the area for a penalty that Funes Mori completed with a shot to the right post by goalkeeper José de Jesús Corona.

Soon after, Meza grabbed a ball on the outskirts of the area and took a shot that went through the base of Corona’s right post.

Cruz Azul discounted when the Chilean Sebastián Vegas committed a foul inside the area on the Uruguayan Ignacio Rivero and Yotún converted the penalty with a low shot and placed at the right post of the Argentine goalkeeper Esteban Andrada.

The Machine dominated the start of the second half, but Funes Mori took a rebound inside the area and took a soft shot that was well out of Corona’s reach.

At the end, Erick Aguirre sent a cross from the right into the heart of the area, where Janssen surpassed the mark of a pair of defenders and scored with a shot to the left post to make it 4-1.

ROAR WITH STRENGTH

With goals from midfielder Leonardo López and Argentine striker Juan Dinenno, Pumas defeated Toluca 2-1 to qualify for the quarterfinals where they will meet América.

Lopez put the visitors in front with a near-half-court goal in the 16th minute and then Dinenno added a goal in the 50th to resolve the compromise.

Pumas qualified for the playoffs until the last date as 11th place and that is why their rival will now be the Eagles, who were leaders.

“The determination of this team is incredible because until date 11 we were very bad. We could not find the goals, and to get out of that situation, these players made it possible, “said Argentine coach Andrés Lillini.

“We want to be a highly competitive team, the effort is what characterizes us. Against a rival like America you cannot be deconcentrated, we have to bend what we did today. In this group they are very stubborn to resign ”, added the strategist.

Pumas returned to the league after missing the previous tournament. In their last participation in the fight for the title, the university team reached the final of the Clausura 2020 when they succumbed to León.

The Auriazules have not been league champions since the 2011 Clausura tournament.

Haret Ortega discounted at 61 for Toluca, who closed the Apertura without triumphs since the ninth date and will now have to wait one more tournament to end his drought of titles that dates back to Clausura 2010.

“The result was too good for us and they could have scored four goals for us. Pumas won well, we had no idea, and football is played with the head, it is not running, it is not pushing anything else, but anyone would play ”, said Argentine helmsman Hernán Cristante.

Despite 11 years without lifting a Cup, Toluca remains the third most successful team in the country with its 10 championships, two less than Chivas and three than America.

Cristante knows that the setback may be enough to end his project.

“We became a medium team. This tournament is over for us, very regular for the last part and a very good one for the first. I will meet with the board to see the situation. Tomorrow I have the meeting with the campus. The decision made by the people who exercise will be seen, “he concluded.

Rogelio Funes Mori, above, is congratulated by his teammates after scoring the Rayados’ first goal against Cruz Azul, in a match of the Mexican Apertura tournament, at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, on Sunday, November 21, 2021. (AP Photo / Alejandro Godínez)
Jonathan Rodríguez, from Cruz Azul, controls the ball under pressure from Erick Aguirre, from Rayados del Monterrey, in a match of the Mexican Apertura tournament at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, on Sunday, November 21, 2021. (AP Photo / Alejandro Godínez)
Jonathan Rodríguez, from Cruz Azul, controls the ball under pressure from Erick Aguirre, from Rayados del Monterrey, in a match of the Mexican Apertura tournament at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, on Sunday, November 21, 2021. (AP Photo / Alejandro Godínez)

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