Liga MX road show: Pachuca, Monterrey shine in Champions Cup

The Tuzos outclassed Costa Rica's Herediano while Rayados edged Messi-less Inter Miami

Monterrey's Jorge Rodríguez (center) exults after scoring late against Inter Miami to give the Liga MX club a 2-1 victory in a Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinal match-up.
Monterrey's Jorge Rodríguez (center) exults after scoring late against Inter Miami to give the Liga MX club a 2-1 victory in a Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinal match-up. / Rich Storry/GettyImages

Liga MX road warriors were at it again Wednesday night.

Pachuca pummeled Herediano in Costa Rica while Monterrey took advantage of a second-half red card – and the absence of Lionel Messi – to defeat Inter Miami in their respective Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinals series.

Coming a day after América won at New England and Tigres battled the Crew to a 1-1 draw in Columbus, the results set the stage for a potential all-Liga MX semifinals series.

Pachuca play host to Herediano and Monterrey welcomes Inter Miami (likely with Messi in uniform) next Wednesday.

Tuzos run wild in Central America

Despite being in a slump in Liga MX play, Pachuca continued its sterling form in the CCC, roughing up Herediano 5-0.

Forward Salomón Rondón did the most damage, netting three times to record his second consecutive hat trick in CCC play. (The Venezuelan striker also put three behind Philadelphia Union goalie Andre Blake on March 12.)

Teenager Alexei Domínguez put the Tuzos up 3-0 with a brilliant strike off a short corner kick and youngster Alan Bautista closed the scoring in minute 90. Both goals came courtesy of Oussama Idrissi who had three assists on the night.

Pachuca goalie Carlos Moreno came up big on a pair of occasions, answering a tough Herediano question when the Tuzos were up 2-0, then preserving his clean sheet with a sparkling save on a Gerson Torres shot that was ticketed for the upper left corner.

Rayados ruin Inter Miami’s night

Monterrey suffered an early lapse on an Inter corner kick in minute 19, but steadied itself quickly, setting the tempo the rest of the match. 

The Liga MX co-leaders exerted steady pressure on the hosts and might have equalized a few minutes later if Brandon Vazquez had not gotten his feet crossed up in front of net.

Monterrey continued to press forward, forcing Inter Miami to chase and in minute 65 a momentary lack of composure by David Ruiz was punished with a second yellow card. The Rayados took advantage and the hosts were on their heels the rest of the way.

Maxi Meza poked home a rebound off a corner kick just 4 minutes later and suddenly The Herons were behind the 8-ball.

Then, just before full-time, Jorge Rodríguez curled home a beauty after Miami’s Diego Gómez lost possession at the top of the box.

The hosts could not produce another shot on net the rest of the way and Monterrey left Chase Stadium with a 2-1 victory.

Road to semifinals goes through Liga MX

All four second-leg matches take place next week starting with Tigres hosting Columbus Crew on Tuesday. América welcomes New England to Estadio Azteca later that same night.


On Wednesday, Pachuca will lay out the welcome mat for Herediano at Estadio Hidalgo while Inter Miami will pay a visit to Monterrey in the nightcap. Inter coach Gerardo Martino will likely have Lionel Messi available as the Argentine genius finally returned to training after nursing a thigh injury.