CCL: End of an era as Monterrey dumped from Mexican playoffs, will miss Champions League
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Monterrey's reign is over.
After winning the past three editions of the CONCACAF Champions League, the hegemony is coming to an end. The club from northern Mexico will not be competing in the next edition of the continental competition after failing to make the finals of the Liga MX Clausura playoffs.
Víctor Manuel Vucetich’s side lost 2-1 on Saturday to Club América and exited the liguilla at the semifinal stage, losing 4-3 on aggregate over the two legs.
Monterrey needed to win to advance and had a good chance to do so until América's Raúl Jiménez scored from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute, with Christian Benítez adding the Mexico City giants' second in the 82nd. Aldo de Nigris netted a late injury-time consolation goal for los Rayados, but the outcome was sealed.
The result gives Club América a berth in the 2013-14 Champions League, along with Club Tijuana, Toluca and the winner of the Liga MX semi between Cruz Azul and back-to-back CCL finalists Santos Laguna. Herculez Gomez's side trails La Máquina 3-0 on aggregate heading into Sunday’s second leg (9 pm ET, ESPN Deportes).
Texas native Alonso Hernandez was an unused substitute for Monterrey on Saturday.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.