Atlas came from behind to beat 9-man Cruz Azul 2-1, giving the Rojinegros their first win of the Clausura 2018 season. The result ends La Máquina’s unbeaten start to the season and leaves them winless in three.
The game started off perfectly for the visitors, though, as they took the lead in the second minute. Brayan Garnica lost the ball trying to play out of the back; Martín Rodríguez sent a cross in from the left and Carlos Fierro headed it home to put Cruz Azul up 0-1 very early on.
The early deficit dealt a blow to Atlas’s fragile confidence, but Cruz Azul was unable to add to their lead while they had the better of play. Walter Montoya had a pair of good chances, including one that hit the post, while Felipe Mora also tested goalkeeper Cristopher Toselli, but they couldn’t find a second goal.
Then, moments before halftime, Atlas leveled the game. In the 45th minute, Edwin Gómez sent in a free kick and Jaine Barreiro got his head to it to beat Jesús Corona – playing in his 500th professional game – and make it 1-1.
In the second half, the night took another poor turn for Cruz Azul as Rafael Baca was ejected in the 65th minute after picking up his second yellow card of the night. With an extra man, Atlas began to take control of the ball and the game.
In the 71st minute, the hosts were able to complete the comeback. Barreiro got on the scoresheet again, this time with a left-footed shot from the top of the box, to make it 2-1 for Atlas.
The Rojinegros had a few chances to add to their lead as well, including one four-on-one attack that somehow – after a series of shots, rebounds, and scrambles – failed to end in a goal.
Cruz Azul’s night ended on another sour note as Adrián Aldrete also earned his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card in the 90th minute to leave La Máquina with just nine men.
With the 2-1 win, Atlas reaches three points while Cruz Azul still has six.
Atlas: Cristopher Toselli, Jaine Barreiro, Leiton Jiménez, Daniel Arreola, Luis Reyes, Edwin Gómez (Ángelo Gen’riguez 89′), Brayan Garnica, Luis Robles, Juan Pablo Vigón (Ravel Morrison 46′), Milton Caraglio, Clifford Aboagye.
Cruz Azul: José de Jesús Corona, Julio César Domínguez, Julián Velázquez, Adrián Aldrete, Rafael Baca, Javier Salas, Walter Montoya (Carlos Peña 61′), Martín Rodríguez (Martín Cauteruccio 78′), Felipe Mora (Gerardo Flores 55′), Carlos Fierro.