Monterrey vs. Xelaju: Final score 1-1, Rayados cruise into semifinals

Lintao Zhang

After winning 3-1 in Guatemala, the second leg was just a formality for Monterrey, who are through to the semifinals.

Monterrey are though to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals yet again after a 1-1 draw with Xelaju in the second leg of their quarterfinal tie. The Rayados won 3-1 away in the first leg, all but guaranteeing advancement before the second leg, and their draw earned them a 4-2 aggregate win.

Monterrey are the the two-time defending tournament champions and were heavy favorites in the quarterfinals against a Xelaju team that were the Champions League Cinderella just for making it out of the group stage. The Rayados will play either the LA Galaxy or Herediano in the semifinals.

Xelaju went in front just before break when Fredy Taylor found himself unmarked on a free kick. It made for a simple finish from six yards, which Taylor put away easily for the early advantage.

With the opening goal, Xelaju had cut the aggregate lead to 3-2 and although they needed three goals to go through, they at least had hope.

Monterrey did their best to dash Xelaju's hopes at the start of their second half. They were quick and dangerous in the attack, causing problems for Xelaju, whose defense was scrambling all half.

Walter Ayovi made sure Monterrey's domination would be represented on the scoreboard just after the hour mark when he hit a wonderful free kick that left the goalkeeper helpless. It found the back of the net and any tiny hope that Xelaju may have had was gone. Monterrey were going onto their semifinals with their quest for a three-peat intact.

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