The Liga MX hosts assumed a 1-0 lead in the 3rd minute when forward Vincent Janssen fired a cross from the left. Columbus goalkeeper Eloy Room couldn’t control it and forward Maximiliano Meza tapped home the rebound to start Monterrey's run after they took a 2-2 Leg 1 draw back to Estadio BBVA Bancomer.
Meza then doubled Monterrey’s lead in the 26th minute, collecting a squared ball after Janssen outmuscled Columbus center back Josh Williams. The Argentine forward beat Room with a one-timed finish and sent Crew SC into halftime down 2-0.
Longtime Mexico national team defender Miguel Layun put the game out of reach in the 71st minute, drilling home a stunning free kick to the top corner. The right back stepped up from 25 yards out and left Room with no chance, giving Rayados a 3-0 lead.
- BIG PICTURE: The defending MLS Cup champions allowed a heart-breaking late equalizer in Leg 1 and entered with star Lucas Zelarayan unavailable (yellow-card accumulation). That tilted Leg 2 in Monterrey’s favor and Rayados took full advantage, leaving Columbus needing to score three away goals they couldn't deliver. Crew SC breezed past Nicaraguan side Real Esteli FC in the Round of 16 (5-0 on aggregate), but this challenge required another level.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Miguel Layun’s second-half free kick reinforced Monterrey’s quality and put Leg 2 to bed. What a stunner it was, too.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: After not featuring in Leg 1, Monterrey forward Maximiliano Meza bagged a brace to send the Liga MX powerhouse on its way. Eloy Room should've done better on the first, as the Argentine international was handed an easy goal.
- CLB: Saturday, May 8 vs. D.C. United | 1:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)