With Pachuca’s 17-month home unbeaten streak seconds away from coming to an end, none other than goalkeeper Óscar “Conejo” Pérez scored a dramatic stoppage time goal to give the Tuzos a 2-2 draw with Cruz Azul. The result ends La Máquina’s chances of qualifying for the playoffs, while Pachuca has dropped out of the top eight but is still in the running for a Liguilla spot.
The Tuzos won the CONCACAF Champions League in midweek and were looking to get back on track in league play, where they had gone six games without a win – or a goal. They had the first dangerous chance here, when Jonathan Urretaviscaya combined well with Franco Jara, but “Urreta” saw his shot stopped by Jesús Corona.
It wasn’t until the second half that the Tuzos found the breakthrough. In the 56th minute, Víctor Guzmán found Jara, whose first-time attempt snapped Pachuca’s scoreless streak and gave them the 1-0 lead.
But that lead lasted just two minutes before Richard Ruíz sent his header to the far post and just out of the reach of Óscar Pérez: 1-1.
La Máquina continued to press and in the 76th minute, they earned a penalty kick after Raúl López brought down Martín Rodríguez in the box. Martín Cauteruccio stepped up to take the spot kick, and he scored it to make it 1-2 for Cruz Azul.
Pachuca poured the pressure on after falling behind as they looked to keep their home unbeaten streak alive – and keep themselves in playoff contention.
With time running out, the Tuzos earned a last-gasp corner kick and everyone crowded into the box for it. Urretaviscaya sent the corner in, and “Conejo” Pérez was there to head it past his counterpart and make it 2-2 in dramatic fashion.
With the 2-2 draw, Pachuca reaches 21 points while Cruz Azul reaches 18.
Pachuca: Óscar Pérez, Emmanuel García, Omar González, Óscar Murillo, John Stefan Medina (Raúl López 38′), Erick Aguirre (Francisco Figueroa 62′), Víctor Guzmán, Jorge Daniel Hernández, Erick Gutiérrez, Franco Jara, Jonathan Urretaviscaya.
Cruz Azul: José de Jesús Corona, Adrián Aldrete, Julio César Domínguez, Enzo Roco, Julián Velázquez, Rafael Bava, Gabriel Peñalba (Christian Giménez 28′), Francisco Silva, Ángel Mena (Martín Rodríguez 67′), Richard Ruíz, Jorge Benítez (Martín Cauteruccio 61′).