A storm eclipsed the estadio Azul Saturday, as an omen to Cruz Azul’s eventual collapse out of the Liguilla.
La Maquina fell to a 2-2 scoreline, with Leon advancing to the semifinals on away goals.
Cruz Azul fell victim to the horrid curse of the Superlider.
The game started in Cruz Azul’s favor. La Maquina jumped into second gear immediately.
In the opening minutes of the match Gerrardo Torrado filtered a pass to Mauro Formica who shot it low to William Yarbrough’s net, but Yarbrough did well to deflect the shot away, but unfortunately directly to the feet of Mariano Pavone who easily squeezed the shot in the for the opening goal.
Minutes later Ecuadorian Joao Rojas came flying down the wing cut inside, and found Mauro Formica who slotted his shot away past Yarbrough and into the net.
It seemed smooth sailing for La Maquina. With the 2 goal advantage on its back, and the crowd on its side Cruz Azul might have expected to cruise to the semi’s.
But the tide shifted drastically when the rain began to pour. Eisner Loboa came in as a first half sub for Matias Britos, and instantly influenced the game. A clever combination in the box from La Fiera stifled Cruz Azul’s defense, and Mauro Boselli was keen on tapping in the finish. Within mere seconds La Fiera was a goal away from advancing to the semifinal. The remount was no longer out of sight for Leon.
In the second half Cruz Azul began to get clumsy with the ball. La Fiera dominated possesion, it didnt help La Maquina either that the rain was begining to turn the field into a waterpark. Puddles began to build in sections of the field slowing down the movement of passes. At the perfect moment Leon pounced, and a shot from Luis Montes was deflected out of Jesus de Corona’s reach and into the net. It seemed Cruz Azul’s fate had been decided with that one goal.
In the closing minutes La Maquina increased its attack, and a shot from Chaco Gimenez rattled the cross bar, Cruz Azul players scurried to get the ball back into the box, and again Marco Fabian was able to connect withthe pass but yet again it smashed against the cross bar. Cruz Azul’s championship hopes fell Saturday in the estadio Azul.