Concacaf Champions League: Monterrey went to the final with a win and a double from Funes Mori

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File photo of Rogelio Funes Mori, Monterrey forward.  BBVA Stadium, Monterrey, Mexico.  December 26, 2019. REUTERS / Daniel Becerril
File photo of Rogelio Funes Mori, Monterrey forward. BBVA Stadium, Monterrey, Mexico. December 26, 2019. REUTERS / Daniel Becerril

Monterrey advanced to the final of the Concacaf Champions League after beating Cruz Azul 4-1 as a visitor in the second leg where the Argentine nationalized Mexican Rogelio Funes Mori scored a double.

The match, which was played at the Azteca stadium in Mexico City, was stopped for 10 minutes due to a discriminatory shout that Cruz Azul fans expressed when the Monterrey goalkeeper made his clearances.

The “Rayados” from Monterrey, who won the first leg 1-0, reached the final with an aggregate score of 5-1.

“We were fortunate to score early and it gave us a lot of confidence, we didn’t get there much but we were strong. We got a loose score that gives us a lot of hope for the final, but we haven’t done anything yet,” said technical director Javier Aguirre.

File photograph showing Javier Aguirre, Rayados de Monterrey coach, giving directions to his players against Mazatlán FC.  EFE / Miguel Sierra
File photograph showing Javier Aguirre, Rayados de Monterrey coach, giving directions to his players against Mazatlán FC. EFE / Miguel Sierra

In the match that closed the series, Monterrey took the lead in the seventh minute with a cross shot from Argentine Maximiliano Meza inside the area after controlling a pass from Carlos Rodríguez.

Cruz Azul leveled three minutes later when Orbelín Pineda hit the ball past the right post with a powerful shot from outside the area.

The “Rayados” regained the lead in the 17th minute through Colombian Duván Vergara, who beat goalkeeper Sebastián Jurado with a powerful shot inside the area after controlling a cross sent by Meza.

Funes Mori scored the third goal for Monterrey in the 24th minute with a left-handed after a rejection of the Uruguayan Ignacio Rivero.

File photo of Rogelio Funes Mori celebrating after scoring a goal for Monterrey.  Children's Mercy Park Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri, USA.  April 11, 2019. USA TODAY REQUIRED CREDIT / Jay Biggerstaff
File photo of Rogelio Funes Mori celebrating after scoring a goal for Monterrey. Children’s Mercy Park Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri, USA. April 11, 2019. USA TODAY REQUIRED CREDIT / Jay Biggerstaff

The forward of the Mexican team scored his double in the 52nd minute when he finished off a cross from Meza in the area.

When the 63rd minute was running, referee César Ramos stopped the game for 10 minutes due to to the discriminatory cry that the fans of Cruz Azul they expressed when the Argentine goalkeeper Esteban Andrada made his clearances.

In August, FIFA sanctioned the Mexican Federation with a veto of a game without an audience due to the cry that the highest soccer organization in the world considers homophobic, discriminatory and racist. Mexico served its punishment on September 2 in the match against Jamaica for the Concacaf World Cup qualifier in Qatar.

Monterrey will face America in the final, which on Wednesday eliminated the United States’ Philadelphia Union.

The Concacaf Champions League title game will be played in October.

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