Monterrey Make Easy Work of Sporting KC in CCL Semi-Final First Leg

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Sporting KC
MONTERREY, MEXICO - APRIL 04: Avilés Hurtado of Monterrey celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the semifinal match between Monterrey and Sporting KC as par of the CONCACAF Champions League 2019 at BBVA Bancomer Stadium on April 04, 2019 in Monterrey, Mexico. (Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Monterrey, Mex. – Sporting KC had said they needed to be near perfect if they were going to get a good result out of their looming first leg matchup with Monterrey in the CONCACAF Semi-Finals. They were anything but perfect and paid the price, losing 5-0.

Monterrey started cleaning house early. Dorlan Pabon skated in behind the Sporting KC backline and got the Rayados party started in the 7th minute. His cool and calm finish was the first of the night for him. He also scored the fifth goal in the route.

Monterrey got up 2-0 at the half. Sporting could’ve attempted to hold strong and squeak an away goal through to get themselves into a comfortable position heading into the second leg. But Los Rayados piled on, adding another three goals in the second half.

Three Things

  1. Sporting KC was pretty clearly the second best team on the field. It doesn’t take a whole lot of looking past the scoreline to see it, but visually they were just that much slower, and second to most 50/50 balls. Some may question whether it was a lack of effort, but in my opinion, they were just clearly inferior on the night, which is an unusual look for Sporting KC.
  2. Dorlan Pabon is the real deal. I’ve begun watching Liga MX a little more, and along with the CCL play, one guy I keep getting drawn to is Pabon. He’s fast and crafty out wide, but he can also cut inside and unleash some spectacular finishes from distance. Pabon is a risk taker, and he has the skill to pull it off. Tonight, we saw the clinical version of Pabon. Whether or not you’ll get to see the flare and flashy side of him.
  3. Sporting KC wasn’t sharp enough. Peter Vermes admitted after the game that they gave up the ball too many times in crucial spots, which led to Monterrey getting out on the break. They played right into what Monterrey wanted. Monterrey let them have the ball. According to MLSSoccer.com’s stat board, Sporting still won the possession battle at 55%. They still out-possessed and outpassed Monterrey, but barely got the ball into the final third. Monterrey just simply took care of their chances when they had the ball, nothing more, nothing less.

 

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