Cruz Azul wins round one against fellow Mexico City rivals Club America in the first leg of the Liga MX final. The game played at the Estadio Azul before a sold out crowd saw the home team take a 1-0 win with a Christian “Chaco” Gimenez goal.
Club America dominated the possession and had more shots than their rivals, but still walked away with the loss. The first few minutes of the march were not controlled by any team due to the heavy rain that fell over Mexico City. The long aerial ball was played by both teams often resulting in turning possession over.
In the 19th minute Gimenez was able to shake off Miguel Layun’s mark and head in the lone goal of the game after a corner kick.
Midway through the first half the weather decided to take a break and let the soccer players play soccer. America was able to put the ball on the ground and marched forward in search of the equalizer.
Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jesus Corona came up big for the home side saving several clear goal scoring opportunities in the second half. America had a festival of shots; outshooting their opponents 25-7. But the visitors were not accurate enough to find the net.
Cruz Azul will not be able to sit back and try to defend the one goal lead in the Azteca on Sunday like they did for the majority of this first leg. Guillermo Vazquez Jr. will have to come up with a different game plan for Sunday if Cruz Azul is going to shake off the 15 year championship drought.
Club America will be looking to control the game in similar fashion to the first leg. But they are going to need better finishing from their forwards in order to reach the record ting eleventh league championship.
The return leg is scheduled for Sunday May 26 at 8:00PM local time (6:00PM pacific) from the Estadio Azteca.
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