Cruz Azul locked up the superlíder position and first seed for the playoffs with a 0-2 away win against Monarcas Morelia. The result is a third straight victory for La Máquina, while the michoacanos have lost two of their last three and must now wait on other results to see if they’ll qualify for the Liguilla.
Jesús Corona didn’t travel to Morelia, with coach Pedro Caixinha choosing to rest him after his trip to Argentina with the national team, but backup keeper Guillermo Allison proved up to the task as he repeatedly denied Monarcas to preserve the shut out.
Clear chances for either team were hard to come by in the first half after a few early opportunities for the hosts – including an 11th-minute header that forced a great save out of Allison – but in the second the game turned into an end-to-end affair.
The breakthrough came in the 67th minute, when Cruz Azul won the ball back on the edge of their box and mounted a counterattack. Roberto Alvarado got the ball in the box, cut past his defender, and found Martín Cauteruccio at the top of the six-yard box; he drew out and beat Sebastián Sosa to make it 0-1.
Just six minutes later, Cruz Azul made it 0-2 from a set piece. In the 73rd minute, Pablo Aguilar headed home a corner kick to give the visitors a comfortable lead.
Morelia looked for a response and they came close with a dangerous cross by Rodrigo Millar, but it was just out of the reach of a diving Miguel Ángel Sansores. Then, in the 84th, the woodwork denied the hosts as Edison Flores hit the post.
Irven Ávila had the final chance in the waning moments when he went one-on-one with Allison, but once again the keeper got the better of the michoacanos to keep Cruz Azul ahead, 0-2.
With the 0-2 win, Cruz Azul reaches 36 points while Morelia still has 25.
Morelia: Sebastián Sosa, Carlos Guzmán, Sebastián Vegas, Emanuel Loeschbor, Gabriel Achilier, Rodolfo Vilchis (Carlos Fierro 68′), Edison Flores, Rodrigo Millar (Diego Valdés 75′), Aldo Rocha, Carlos Ferreira (Irven Ávila 63′), Miguel Ángel Sansores.
Cruz Azul: Guillermo Allison, Pablo Aguilar, Igor Lichnovsky, Adrián Aldrete, José Madueña, Elías Hernández, Ángel Mena (Roberto Alvarado 63′), Édgar Mendez (Julio César Domínguez 88′), Rafael Baca, Iván Marcone, Martín Cauteruccio (Milton Caraglio 75′).