UAE-bound Monterrey seal Concacaf crown

  • Monterrey beat America in Champions League final

  • Los Rayados set for fifth Club World Cup

  • Rogelio Funes Mori scores only goal of game

Monterrey were crowned 2021 CONCACAF Champions League winners last night after beating Club America by a solitary goal in front of their home fans in Monterrey, Mexico.

The match began in explosive fashion as the home side pushed hard from the off. The aim was to score in the opening ten minutes, just as they had done in their last five games in this competition, and they succeeded.

With just eight minutes on the clock, Monterrey worked a neat one-two down the left flank culminating in a low cross aimed at Rogelio Funes Mori. A bungled clearance by Caceres let the ball run to the unmarked striker, who calmly steered it into the right corner from six yards out.

America threatened to equalise on more than one occasion in the first half but could find no way past the home defence. Perhaps their best chance was a curling free-kick from Richard Sanchez on 38 minutes that fizzed just inches past the top-left corner.

After the interval, Las Aguilas pressed even higher, managing to keep their opponents pinned back for long periods and limit their attacking forays.

Despite that, the capital side struggled to carve out genuine chances of their own, as the hosts sat deep and waited patiently for America to leave spaces to exploit on the break.

And as the match wore on, those spaces did begin to appear. Maximiliano Meza and Arturo Gonzalez both got shots away in the area, but Guillermo Ochoa in the Aguilas’ goals produced some fine reflex saves to keep the deficit at one.

The on 80 minutes, Vincent Janssen came agonisingly close to doubling his side’s lead when he intercepted a back-pass to Ochoa and rounded the keeper, only see to see his shot dramatically cleared off the line by Caceres.

Despite a frantic finale, in which America hit the crossbar, the hosts hung on for their fifth Champions League title, in the process booking their place at the FIFA Club World Cup 2021 set to be played early next year in the United Arab Emirates.

Did you know...?

  • Monterrey have never lost a CONCACAF Champions League final, a claim America could also make until this edition.

  • Monterrey have been the tournament’s most successful side (five wins) since it became the Champions League in 2008/09. In fact, their five titles have all come in the last decade (2011, 2012, 2013, 2019, 2021).

  • Los Rayados have now gone 11 games unbeaten in this competition.

  • The newly-crowned champions have also kept clean sheets in seven of their last nine fixtures in this event.

Awards

  • Best Player: Rogelio Funes Mori (Monterrey)

  • Best Goalkeeper: Guillermo Ochoa (America)

  • Best Young Player: Federico Vinas (America)

  • Fair Play Award: Monterrey