Aldo de Nigris has scored a crucial equaliser for Monterrey to salvage a 2-2 draw against America in their Liga MX semi-final first leg.
Ecuadorian striker Christian Benitez struck two vital away goals for America to put the visitors ahead in the second half at Monterrey’s Estadio Tecnologico but the hosts recovered soon after through de Nigris to stay alive in the two-legged semi-final.
While Cruz Azul took control of their semi-final against reigning Clausura champions Santos Laguna in the other semi-final, Monterrey and America’s contest remains tight.
Monterrey took the lead in the 29th minute on Wednesday thanks to a fantastic curving free-kick from Humberto Suazo but America turned the game around in the opening 25 minutes of the second half.
Benitez equalised in the 51st minute, collecting Juan Medina’s lofted pass and stepping around Monterrey goalkeeper Juan Ibarra to slot the ball home.
The 27-year-old Ecuadorian completed his brace with 20 minutes remaining when he reacted fastest to a shot into the penalty area, following a corner, to finish from close range, although de Nigris kept Monterrey in the contest with a well-taken goal in the 73rd minute.
America hold the upper hand heading into Saturday’s second leg due to their two away goals.
In the other semi-final first leg on Thursday, Cruz Azul won 3-0 away to Santos Laguna with first-half strikes from Gerardo Flores and Pablo Barrera, plus an own goal from Rafael Figueroa in the 88th minute.
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