Cruz Azul Crush Toluca - Match Report

Crushing Blow image

 

League leaders Cruz Azul strengthened their hold on first place in the Liga MX, as a clinical 1-0 victory over second-placed Toluca saw them extend their advantage to six points.

 

The game was one of the most eagerly-anticipated fixtures of the year so far, pitting the league’s two highest scoring teams against the two most miserly defences. Further spice was added by Cruz Azul’s 4-1 humiliation when the sides last met in last season’s Liguilla quarterfinal, two games in which the hosts were thoroughly outclassed by the visitors.

 

Second half substitute Chaco Gimenez scored the only goal of the game just ten minutes from time, getting on the end of Rogelio Chavez’s freekick to head home.

 

Cruz Azul were the better side across the ninety minutes and deserved their win. Tena’s men constantly pressed, harried and probed their visitors, giving them no time to settle and find their usual rhythm. Midfielders Castro and Baez were tenacious in the middle-third, and provided a strong defensive foundation upon which Cruz Azul’s dynamic quartet of Fabian, Formica, Rojas and Pavone could build their attacks.

 

Toluca couldn’t get their young starlet Isaac Brizuela in the game, though forward Pablo Velazquez had an excellent game and could count himself unlucky to not get on the scoresheet.

 

The away side often looked nervous in defence, indeed they could feel fortunate to still be at 0-0 after ten minutes. Rojas blasted a left-footed effort just wide in only the second minute, Formica should have done better from a corner just three minutes later and the lively Marco Fabian forced Talavera to make an acrobatic one handed stop shortly after.

 

Toluca’s best chance of the first half came in the 27th minute, as a long kick upfield from Talavera found Velazquez in acres of space, but the Paraguayan failed to control the ball properly and the attack petered out.

 

Two minutes after the break Velazquez had a goal ruled out for handball, and he again came close to breaking the deadlock in the 53rd minute only to see his low shot cannon back off the upright.

 

Ten minutes later Pavone almost made Velazquez regret his miss, and will be disappointed to not hit the target after some great build-up play by Rojos and Marco Fabian.

 

Velazquez was yet again involved in the 70th minute, expertly controlling the ball and sending in a crashing half-volley from 30 yards, though Corona got down well to turn the ball round the post.

 

But it was experienced 33 year old Chaco Gimenez, who had only been on the field for 12 minutes, that won all three points for Cruz Azul and ensured they extended their winning streak to eight games.

 

Very few expected Cruz Azul to be so dominant this season. At the halfway stage Los Cementeros are now 14 points clear of 8th-placed Chiapas, making qualification for the Liguilla look like a formality. Toluca stay second, five points of Pumas UNAM who play tomorrow.

 

Next up for Cruz Azul is a trip to the northern city of Monterrey to face Tigres UANL, a side that followed up their first league win last weekend with a 8-0 midweek thrashing in the Copa MX. Toluca will face Puebla, the unlucky recipients of that humiliation.

 

 

 

To continue the debate you can add a comment below or find me on Twitter by following @MexFooty

 

** the photo is used under a Creative Commons license from commpilot23

 

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Comments

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