Action from the Liga MX Apertura game between host Monterrey (left) and Puebla on July 16, 2016, in Monterrey, Mexico. (Photo: Mexsport)
MONTERREY, Mexico – Dorlan Pabon gave Monterrey a ninth minute lead, but the 2016 Liga MX Clausura runner-up had to hold on for a 1-1 draw against visiting Puebla in the 2016 Apertura opener for each before 48,071 fans at the Estadio BBVA Bancomer.
The host Rayados were reduced to 10 players in the 67th minute, when Edwin Cardona was sent off for a straight red card. Five minutes later, Alexis Canelo equalized from edge of the six-yard box to ensure a share of the points.
“I thought that we had it won, but being a man down cost us,” said winger Arturo Alfonso Gonzalez after his Monterrey debut. “We had the match in our hands and we let it slip away, despite having a man less.”
While Gonzalez will now join up with the Mexico under-23 national team for training ahead of next month’s Olympic Games, Monterrey will turn its attention towards Saturday’s encounter at Guadalajara, which fell 1-0 to Pumas in Mexico City.
“The team did not do what it is accustomed to doing, that’s why it didn’t win,” head coach Antonio Mohamed said about the setback. “The next match we have to change. We have to improve in some areas on the field and, more than anything, in our intensity.”
Guadalajara has won the last three meetings between the sides by a combined score of 8-2.
Monterrey kicks off play in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on August 3 with a visit to Haiti’s Don Bosco.