Cruz Azul kept their playoff ambitions alive with a 1-2 away win against Monarcas Morelia. The result snapped a two-game losing streak for La Máquina, while ending a five-game unbeaten run for the michoacanos.
The game couldn’t have started better for the visitors, who took the lead in just the third minute. From a corner kick, Gabriel Peñalba out-jumped his defender and headed the ball on to the fair post where Felipe Mora knocked it home to make it 0-1.
Morelia couldn’t react to that early goal and Cruz Azul added to their lead just before the half-hour mark. In the 29th minute, Édgar Méndez sent in a precision low cross towards the far post, where Mora appeared once again sliding in to knock it home. 0-2.
La Máquina took the two-goal lead into halftime, but Morelia reacted in the second half. In the 56th minute, a set piece got the hosts back into the game. Diego Valdez sent his free kick under the wall as they jumped, beating Jesús Corona to make it 1-2.
That goal set up a frenetic final half hour as Morelia threw everything forward in search of an equalizer. They came close once or twice, but Cruz Azul’s defense stood firm as La Máquina picked up their first victory in the Estadio Morelos since 2009.
With the 1-2 win, Cruz Azul reaches 24 points while Morelia still has 26.
Morelia: Sebastián Sosa, Carlos Rodríguez (Jorge Zárate 76′), Carlos Guzmán, Gabriel Achilier, Sebastián Vegas, Ángel Sepúlveda, Rodrigo Millar, Diego Valdés, Mario Osuna (Miguel Ángel Sansores 45′), Rodolfo Vilchis (Jefferson Cuero 63′), Raúl Ruidíaz.
Cruz Azul: José de Jesús Corona, Julián Velázquez, Julio César Domínguez, Adrián Aldrete, Gerardo Flores, Édgar Méndez, Francisco Silva, Christian Giménez (Omar Mendoza 45′), Gabriel Peñalba (Enzo Roco 85′), Rafael Baca, Felipe Mora (Martín Cauteruccio 80′).