Sporting Kansas City entered their 2019 Concacaf Champions League semifinal series against Monterrey confident they could go toe-to-toe with the Liga MX titans, but the Mexican side's counterattack exposed Sporting time and again en route to a 5-0 thrashing at Estadio BBVA Bancomer on Thursday.
Sporting pushed early but Monterrey drew first blood and never let up, as Dorlan Pabon received a pass from forward Rogelio Funes Mori that split the defenders, and beat Tim Melia in the 7th minute. Seven minutes later Melia was tested again, but while he repelled the first shot by Funes Mori, Aviles Hurtado slammed the rebound in to double the home side's lead.
Sporting held off Monterrey until the second half, when Jesus Gallardo got in on the goals, as Seth Sinovic partially deflected a cross that Gallardo tapped in at the far post to make it 3-0.
The misery for the visitors was compounded as substitute Yohan Croizet brought down Hurtado in Sporting's box, with Nicolas Sanchez converting the penalty kick in the 70th minute, before Pabon completed the five spot with his second goal of the night six minutes later.
The teams will meet at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City next Thursday to wrap up the series.
- 7' – MTY – Dorlan Pabon
- 14' – MTY – Aviles Hurtado
- 55' – MTY – Jesus Gallardo
- 70' – MTY – Nicolas Sanchez (PK)
- 76' – MTY – Dorlan Pabon
Sporting KC (4-3-3): Tim Melia -- Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Andreu Fontas, Graham Zusi -- Felipe Gutierrez (Gianluca Busio 73'), Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza -- Gerso Fernandes, Krisztian Nemeth (Kelyn Rowe 80'), Johnny Russell (Yohan Croizet 64')
CF Monterrey (4-4-2): Marcelo Barovero -- Jesus Gallardo (Leonel Vangioni 83'), Nicolas Sanchez, Cesar Montes (Miguel Layun 73'), John Medina -- Rodolfo Pizarro, Jonathan Gonzalez, Carlos Rodriguez, Dorlan Pabon (Maxi Meza 79') -- Rogelio Funes Mori, Aviles Hurtado
- THE BIG PICTURE: Sporting knew they had their work cut out for them in this semifinal series, and their hopes for advancing to the CCL final are now hanging by a thread, if that. Never say never, but they'll need to have a game similar to the 7-1 win they posted in MLS Week 5 to have a chance of reaching the final.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Sporting pushed hard for an away goal right from the opening whistle, but Pabon's early opener deflated the MLS side.
¡Gol de #Rayados! ¡Gol de Dorlan Pabón!— Joga Bonito (@Jasoninho10) April 5, 2019
Clinical finish by the Monterrey captain for an early 1-0 lead. Not the start #SportingKC was looking for.#MTYvSKC #CCL #SCCL2019 #Concachampions pic.twitter.com/kmdBcKcAca
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Pabon was influential for Monterrey in the quarterfinal series first leg against Atlanta United, and he was again on the night vs. Sporting, as the Rayados captain posted two goals in the rout to set the tone for the series.
- SKC: Sunday, April 7 at FC Cincinnati (3 pm ET | ESPN in US; TSN5 in Canada)