Leones Negros earned a 0-2 win against 10-man Cruz Azul, but not even that victory was enough to save the Universidad de Guadalajara from relegation. To remain in Liga MX, Leones needed not only a win, but also a Puebla loss, and La Franja managed a 2-2 draw with Santos Laguna. The result was also a bitter one for the home team, as the loss eliminated La Máquina from playoff contention.
For about 25 minutes, it looked like Leones Negros might save themselves, as Jonathan González had put them in front at the same time that Puebla was losing to Santos. But Puebla’s comeback took the UdeG’s survival out of their hands, relegating them despite their victory.
González opened the scoring in the Estadio Azul in the 19th minute, when he ran on to a headed pass and shot from between two defenders to beat Jesús Corona. His goal was just Leones’ 12th of the season, with the worst offense in the league beating the defense that had posted five consecutive shutouts to start the season.
Cruz Azul needed to go in search of an equalizer, but they were hard-pressed to generate many dangerous chances. Roque Santa Cruz hit the post, but La Máquina could get no closer than that.
Their task became much harder in the 44th minute, when Christian “Chaco” Giménez was given a straight red card after insulting assistant referee José Luis Camargo. Down to ten men, Cruz Azul looked even less threatening and when González scored again in the 68th minute it was clear that there would be no comeback forthcoming.
However, the two-goal win was not enough for Leones Negros thanks to Puebla’s draw. Although the two ended up with the same point-per-game average of 1.0294, Leones Negros were relegated due to the goal difference tiebreaker.
With this result, the Universidad de Guadalajara bids farewell to the first division after just a single year, while Cruz Azul misses out on the playoffs for the second straight season.
With the 0-2 win, Leones Negros reach 18 points while Cruz Azul remains on 25.
Cruz Azul: José de Jesús Corona, Gerardo Flores, Francisco Rodríguez, Julio César Domínguez, Fausto Pinto, Christian Giménez, Gerardo Torrado, Rafael Baca, Joao Rojas, Alejandro Vela (José Carlos Toffolo 68′), Roque Santa Cruz.
Leones Negros: Humberto Hernández, Marcelo Alatorre, Héctor Reynoso, Leandro Cufré, Félix Araujo, Marc Crosas, Christian Díaz (Jorge Hernández 72′), Luis Fernando Télles, Jonathan González (Jairo González 83′), Juan Anangonó (Fernando Guerrero 62′), Fidel Martínez.