Cruz Azul can revel in bliss after conquering the CONCACAF Champions League Wednesday in La Bombonera. An away goal from Mariano Pavone was just enough to seal the championship in La Maquina’s favor. The Nemesio Diez fell into silence at the sound of the final whistle. Hearts were broken in the Bombonera. Toluca fans that packed the stadium would have never dreamed such a bitter end.
Sure, it was a bit sour to go out on a tie. But, let that not take away from what Cruz Azul has done all season. Currently standing at the top of the league table, Cruz Azul has proven to be the best club in CONCACAF this season.
Now, Cruz Azul have been entered into the 2014 Fifa Club World Cup in Morocco. The tournament will run from the 10th to the 20th of December. High expectations have been set on a club that has been dominant all season.
La Maquina must now turn its focus to La Liguilla.
Its been almost 17 years since Cruz Azul was last crowned champion. The winter tournament of 1997 seems an eternity ago. Its hard to believe its been so long since La Maquina last acquired hardware. It’s time for La Maquina to finally end its drout.
The first objective on Cruz Azul’s agenda has been fulfilled. Next on the list will certainly be the 2014 Clausura tournament.
With a long list of hungry players at Fernando Tena’s disposal, it seems likely he will rest some key players on Saturday against Pumas.
Still, Cruz Azul must not get carried away. Maintaining balance in the squad is important. Last weeks miserable 5-1 defeat to Morelia was a serious warning sign. Cruz Azul cannot afford to lose its momentum. Resting players is important, but not as important as maintaining a winning mentality.
Wednesday’s accomplishment will be will be a huge lift for Cruz Azul going into La Liguilla.