In Mexico, one of the games that is circled as one to watch each tournament is the Clasico Regiomontano played between Monterrey-based clubs Tigres UANL and Monterrey. On Saturday evening, the 100th edition of this clasico was played with Tigres UANL winning 3-1 in a game which they were the superior team from the beginning.
The clasico which may not be that well known outside of Mexico or the United States, and has always been characterized as a matchup of clubs from Mexico’s most fervent and die-hard fan bases with home matches. On the field of play, the intensity from the fans is reflected in how the teams play as they are spirited contests.
As a result of the intensity, Clasico Regiomontano games have not always been the best played in terms of skill. In fact, they tend to be cautious, defensive-minded games where both teams try to take advantage of a defensive error to score and win.
Both teams came into this game with three points so far in the Apertura 2013 tournament, with Tigres having played one less game. If prior contests were cautious, defensive-minded affairs, the 100th edition of the clasico was properly played. From the beginning, it was an open end-to-end affair, with Tigres striking first thanks to forward Alan Pulido opening the scoring 11 minutes in.
As a result of the early goal, Monterrey were forced to open up in order to equalize, which it did at the 25th minute as Chilean forward Humberto Suazo slotted home a Dorlan Pabon pass from the top of the box. But the tie was short-lived as 15 minutes later, Alan Pulido would score his second as he calmly slotted home a corner as he was left unmarked to give Tiges a lead they hung onto.
Midfielder Lucas Lobos put the game out of reach as he scored the third goal for Tigres on a superb individual effort, and his goal put the stamp on a second half which was controlled by Tigres, who could and should have put the game away earlier.
It wouldn’t be a Clasico Regiomontano without an ejection, and this time it was Monterrey player Bernardo Hernandez and coach Victor Manuel Vucetich who were given their early marching orders for dissenting towards referee Marco Antonio Rodriguez, better known as ‘Chiquidracula‘.
Aside of the fact that Tigres won this game, the 100th edition of the clasico reflected everything that is good about the rivalry between both clubs. In the last five years, both clubs have established themselves as consistent contenders by being two of the best-managed clubs in all of Liga MX. Both clubs have fans bases who always are loyal and die-hard supporters during the good and during the bad, which there were plenty of in prior years.
The 100th edition of the Clasico Regiomontano was well played, in a great atmosphere, and reflected the good moment which the city is living with their teams. For a city and a region that has been at the heart of Mexico’s industrialization and economic modernization, the 100th edition of this great game could not have done a better job of living up to its billing.