Action from the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match between host Arabe Unido (pink jersey) and Monterrey on September 14, 2016, in Panama City, Panama. (Photo: Mexsport)
PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Arabe Unido clinched a spot in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals for the third time, recording a 2-1 Group D victory over three-time champion Monterrey at Estadio Maracana on Wednesday.
Joseph Cox and Jose Gonzalez scored their second goals of the current competition on either side of halftime for the first-place Panamanians (3W-0D-0L, 9 points), who joined Group C winner Vancouver Whitecaps as the second team to earn a berth in the knockout round.
Center-back Cesar Montes (56’) halved the deficit for eliminated Monterrey (1-0-2, 3), which had been unbeaten in its previous six SCCL away outings (5-1-0).
The host peppered the Rayados with 10 shots in the first half and was rewarded for its efforts in the 43rd minute. Off Gonzalez’s short, left-sided corner kick, Edgar Yoel Barcenas delivered a cross for Cox, who jumped to head the ball off his marker and inside the right post four-yards out for a 1-0 lead.
Gonzalez stunned Monterrey with a marvelous goal off a brilliant individual effort in the opening minute of the second half. He dribbled past four defenders, before firing home from 15 yards into the lower left corner for his sixth career SCCL goal.
Monterrey made it interesting in the 56th minute as Montes – from a penalty-area scramble -- shot past Dominican Republic international goalkeeper keeper Miguel Lloyd off Carlos Sanchez's corner kick to pull within 2-1.
Arabe Unido held on the rest of the way to win a third straight game in the same SCCL edition for the first time.
Monterrey closes out its SCCL schedule by hosting Don Bosco on September 28, while Arabe Unido will welcome the Haitian side on October 18.
NOTES: Arabe Unido beat a Mexican team twice in the same SCCL for the first time, also winning at Monterrey, 3-2, on August 17.