Blue Cross found in Pumas a balm to their fragile performance at home this season, since with a 2-1 victory against the Auriazules they cut a streak of three consecutive losses at home that lasted almost two months, in which they lost to Necaxa (1-2), Santos Laguna (1-2) and Puebla (1-3). His last triumph in the Aztec stadium It had been on January 15 before Ciudad Juarez Braves (1-0).
The meeting between Cruz Azul and Pumas for matchday 10 caused uncertainty due to the fact that just a week before there had been a confrontation between fans of Queretaro and Atlas that shook the entire environment of Mexican soccer. Therefore, more than 2,000 security elements went to the shelter of the Colossus of Santa Ursulawhich was also monitored by a helicopter from the Secretary of Citizen Security of the CDMX.
This uncertainty was reflected within the building, as the stands reached 12,686 fans despite the fact that 100% capacity was allowed. This meant a low figure considering the size of the teams. In addition, the most recent confrontation between Cruz Azul and Pumas in the Azteca stadium open to the public managed to gather 24,596 fans on April 20, 2019.
With the conspicuous absence of Pumas supporters in the stands (there was only one group of less than 100 people in an organized way, the rest were random fans), the game went by without major problems on the part of the public, although on the field it was not same.
The 90th minute was passing when there was a conflict of slaps between the striker of Cruz Azul, Angel Romeroand the Pumas midfielder, Fabio Alvarez, after the latter committed a foul to stop his opponent. Both players were cautioned and the match was stopped for a few seconds, but the referees managed to contain the brawl and it did not escalate.
By then, Cruz Azul was already winning 2-1 against the Pumas. the victory of Machine It was conceived thanks to two set pieces: two corner kicks that were well capitalized on by defenders Luis Abram and Juan Escobar, at minutes 29 and 70, respectively. For the Paraguayan Escobar these decorous performances are becoming customary, since he reached four goals in this Closure 2022his best figure in a regular tournament since he arrived in Mexico in 2019.
The tension had been present for the cement fans since immediately after Abram’s goal Fabio Álvarez’s tie fell in a collective play that ended with two taquitos in the Jesús Corona area. With this, Pumas reflected on the scoreboard the parity of the game that they had achieved during the first half.
Cruz Azul redefined its position on the field in the second half with the entry of players like Uriel Antuna, Santiago Gimenez and Angel Romero, who were key to the offensive recomposition. Although the goals fell on two corner kicks, for several plays La Maquina managed to destabilize the Pumas defense thanks to the offensive potential of these cement players.
Thanks to this victory, Cruz Azul avoided matching a streak of four games without a win at home, since the last time that happened was 13 years ago, in the Clausura 2009, when they fell consecutively against América, Pumas, Puebla and Indios. .
In addition, with the victory La Maquina managed to finish day 10 in fifth place in the general table with 17 units, only one less than Atlas, which occupies the last place in the direct classification positions for the league (at this time , Cruz Azul would go to playoffs).
For its part, Pumas have not been able to win for a month, since their last victory was on February 13 against León in Ciudad Universitaria, on date 5. Since then, the university students have added two draws and two defeats, which place them in the middle table with 11 units.
The defeat against Cruz Azul also meant the coach’s first expulsion Andrés Lillini in the regular phase since he took the reins of Pumas in the summer of 2020. The Argentine was expelled by the central referee, Fernando Hernández, at minute 71 for claiming Cruz Azul’s second goal, since he considered that it should be reviewed by the VAR.
Cruz Azul’s next match will be visiting Pachuca on Saturday, March 19, while that same day Pumas will receive Necaxa at Ciudad Universitaria, within the framework of matchday 11.
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