The game started off well for the visitors, and it didn’t take long for La Máquina to take the lead. In the 4th minute, José Madueña sent a shot from just outside the box in off the post to make it 0-1 for Cruz Azul early on.
The visitors looked the better side from the start, while Atlas struggled to keep possession or string passes together. Their best chance of the half came in the 10th minute with a shot by Lorenzo Reyes; other than that, it was all Cruz Azul.
The first half was hard-fought, with most of the play occurring in midfield, but Cruz Azul had the edge in possession and had more attacking opportunities. They couldn’t find the breakthrough, though, and the game went to halftime still tied 0-0.
It didn’t take too long for the hosts to open the scoring; in the 17th minute, Luis Romo drove through two defenders and sent his shot into the back of the net to make it 1-0 for Querétaro.
Moments later, Romo came within inches of scoring a second direct from a free kick, only to be denied by the woodwork.
Cruz Azul was moments away from their first win of the Apertura, but a stoppage-time goal by Toluca meant it finished 1-1. The result keeps both teams winless this season, although La Máquina also remain unbeaten.
Cruz Azul controlled the game in the first half, with more possession and more chances, while Toluca sat back to defend and looked somewhat shaky in doing so. But the hosts weren’t able to take advantage. On the other hand, on the few occasions that Toluca managed to get into the attack, they looked dangerous, such as a 9th-minute shot by Federico Mancuella that hit the post.
These two faced each other less than a week ago in the SuperCopa MX, where Cruz Azul walked away with a 4-0 victory; La Máquina was not able to carry that form over into this match, however. The opening was cagey, with few chances of note for either side, although on the balance the visitors looked more dangerous.
La Máquina looked dangerous from the beginning, with their first good chance coming in the 3rd minute; on the counterattack, Roberto Alvarado found Édgar Méndez, but his shot went over the bar. Then, in the 17th minute, Yosimar Yotún forced a good save out of Hugo González as Cruz Azul continued to look for the opener.
La Máquina came out attacking, knowing they needed at least two goals to overturn América’s first-leg lead. José Madueña had an early chance go just wide, while Jonathan Rodríguez found himself in dangerous positions multiple times, but was unable to convert any of his chances.
Cruz Azul came out attacking and they had a penalty shout in just the second minute as Agustín Marchesín came off his line to stop Orbelín Pineda, getting the ball but also bringing down the player; then, when the keeper went to gather the loose ball, he brought down Yoshimar Yotún. But neither the referee nor VAR called a penalty and play continued.
Necaxa vs Monterrey – 8:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Necaxa (6th) finished off the regular season with a 1-0 victory against Querétaro to send them into the playoffs with a four-game unbeaten streak. The Rayos are also unbeaten at home in four and lost just once at home in the regular season. However, they also had more draws than victories in the Estadio Victoria and accumulated the fewest home points of any of the playoff teams; they also scored the fewest home goals: 12 in eight games. Necaxa had a better record on the road, but they’ll still be looking to put their home-field advantage to good use as they start their quarterfinal series in this one. Continue reading