Cruz Azul vs Veracruz – Jornada 17 Recap and Highlights

Despite missing a penalty kick, Cruz Azul beat nine-man Veracruz 1-0 to put La Máquina back into the playoffs for the first time in three years.

In front of a vociferous crowd in the Estadio Azul, La Máquina came out attacking as they looked for that elusive Liguilla berth. Jesús Méndez and Ángel Mena combined well as Cruz Azul looked to take an early lead. But despite controlling possession, the final touch was lacking for the hosts.

Then, in the 18th minute, Felipe Mora was fouled in the box and referee Óscar Macías Romo pointed to the penalty spot. Francisco Silva stepped up to take the spot kick, but he sent it into the post and away to keep the game 0-0.

That let-off gave Veracruz a bit of a morale boost and they began to create a few chances of their own, particularly from set pieces. From a corner kick, Richard Ruíz came within inches of giving the Tiburones Rojos the lead, only to be denied by the woodwork.

Cruz Azul had several chances at the start of the second half through Gabriel Peñalba, but it wasn’t until the 63rd minute that they finally took the lead. Silva sent the ball into the box for Felipe Mora, and Jesús Paganoni was unable to clear the ball off the line. 1-0 for La Máquina.

Veracruz, long since eliminated from playoff contention but playing to improve their position in the relegation standings, had a brief attacking flurry after falling behind. But then the game went sharply downhill for the Tiburones as first Lucas Rodríguez and then José Rivas were red-carded.

With the 1-0 win, Cruz Azul reaches 27 points while Veracruz still has 14.

Highlights

Lineups

Cruz Azul: José de Jesús Corona, Julio César Domínguez, Adrián Aldrete (Martín Cauteruccio 61′), Gerardo Flores, Julián Velázquez, Rafael Baca, Gabriel Peñalba, Édgar Méndez, Ángel Mena (Martín Rodríguez 61′), Francisco Silva, Felipe Mora (Enzo Roco 71′).

Veracruz: Édgar Melitón Hernández, Jesús Paganoni, Lucas Rodríguez, Guido Milán, José Arturo Rivas, Daniel Villalva (Jefferson Murillo 76′), Cristian Pellerano, Richard Ruíz, Luis Martínez, Cristian Menéndez, Leandro Velázquez (Leandro Díaz 68′).

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