Earlier today the Disciplinary Commission announced the results of its investigation into events in the America-Cruz Azul Quarterfinals, in which Cruz Azul star Edgar Mendez reportedly was caught spitting on America player Alejandro Diaz. The Commission basically told Mendez “If you spits, you sits”. The Commission found Mendez violated Article 17, Paragraph D of the Regulations and thus after a career tournament the Cruz Azul star will be seeing Roja-A LOT of Roja-from his punishment: 6 Game Suspension & fined an undisclosed amount. So unless there are appeals, Mendez will be out until at least Week 7 of the Clausura 2018 Tournament.
According to an ESPN FC report, Cruz Azul coach Paco Jemez left the team yesterday following the apparent conclusion of a 1-year contract he signed last November. Jemez is returning to his native Spain to be closer to family. This tournament he guided Cruz Azul to their first playoff appearance in 3 years although they lost to America by the third tiebreaker after a 0-0 tie (worse regular season finish, 6th to America’s 3rd). No word yet on a potential replacement.
The final quarterfinals game is now in the books, and America & Cruz Azul played a near-copy of their first game-lots of intensity, scoring chances & near-misses and all kinds of drama that ended in another 0-0 tie. Both teams has numerous scoring chances but just could not put the ball in the net. 95 minutes solved nothing. Because there was no score and thus all the tiebreakers were even at 0, it came down to regular season ranking, meaning because they were #3 America wins (Cruz Azul was #6). They will play Tigres in the semifinals while Morelia plays Monterrey.
Shots on Goal-America 2
Corner KIcks-Cruz Azul 8, America 3
Amarillas-America 2 (Oribe Peralta, 26′ Miguel Samudio, 86′), Cruz Azul 2 (Julian Velazquez, 53′, Francisco Silva, 74′)
Venue: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
Attendance: 48,391 (59.6% capacity)
America-TBA vs. Tigres in Semifinals
Cruz Azul-Clausura 2018 Tournament
The second half of the quarterfinals started tonight with Game 1 of the all-Mexico City pairing of America vs. Cruz Azul. Given their recent history the game went about as expected-lots of physical play, cards & stout defense but thus no offense, as they played to a 0-0 tie. America had the best chance to score in the first half but Oribe Peralta couldn’t score on a PENAL! in the 37th minute. America lost the attrition battle though, as in the 29th minute Mateus Uribe picked up the second of 2 Amarillas and thus a Rojas! HE GONE! Then as second half regular time ended, Edson Alvarez followed suit with 2 Amarillas and thus a Rojas! HE GONE! Although the America defense kept Cruz Azul off the board despite the 1 & 2-man deficits, they will be short both players in the second game. The score also means it will be winner-take-all in Game 2, and it could very well wind up coming down to penalty kicks.
Shots on Goal-Cruz Azul 1, America 1
Corner Kicks-Cruz Azul 10, America 6
Amarillas-America 4 (Mateus Uribe, 5′, Paul Aguilar, 71′, Edson Alvarez, 79′, Bruno Valdez, 87′), Cruz Azul 3 (Gabriel Penalba, 12′, Enzo Roco Roco, 24′, Francisco Silva, 71′)
Rojas-America 2 (Uribe, 29′, Alvarez, 89′)
Venue: Estadio Azul, Mexico City
Attendance: 22,889 (69.3% capacity)
Next up: Game 2 Sunday at America
In the first game of the final Saturday of the regular season, Cruz Azul looked to save it’s season and clinch a playoff berth at home against Veracruz. It wasn’t easy, but the hosts succeeded on both fronts thanks to a 1-0 win. Felipe Mora sored the season-saving goal in the 83rd minute, important because Francisco Silva just missed on a PENAL! in the 19th minute-he shot in the opposite direction of the goalie but was just too wide left and hit the post! Because of the win, Cruz Azul clinches a playoff berth and now waits to see where they wind up, best-case is probably going to be 5th and wait to see who they play, worst-case is 7th or 8th and traversing the potential playoff path of death through Monterrey and/or Tigres. Veracruz will finish the season 17th, start next tournament last again in the demotion race and also shorthanded as near the end defenseman Lucas Rodriguez picked up 2 Amarillas in about a minute, meaning he also picked up a Rojas! HE GONE! He will start the second half a week late. Veracruz picked up FOUR Amarillas in the last 5 minutes, continuing a recent trend of really racking them up. And if Veracruz can’t have a Monterrey-like tournament in the second half, they are all but headed down to Ascenso MX in about 6 months.
Goals-Felipe Mora (Cruz Azul, 83′, 8th of tournament)
Shots on Goal-Cruz Azul 4, Veracruz 2
Corner Kicks-Cruz Azul 7, Veracruz 3
Amarillas-Veracruz 5 (Leonardo Velazquez, 9′, Sergio Garcia, 20′, Lucas Rodriguez, 85′, Guido Milan, 88′, Jesus Paganoni, 89′), Cruz Azul 1 (Gabriel Penalba, 88′)
Rojas-Veracruz 1 (Rodriguez, 86′)
Venue: Estadio Azul, Mexico City
Attendance: 26,149 (79.2% capacity)
Cruz Azul-TBA in Gran Fiesta Quarterfinals
Veracruz-Clausura 2018 Tournament
The penultimate week of the Apertura 2017 regular season began tonight with Morelia hosting Cruz Azul in an important game for both teams’ playoff hopes. In an effort that could very well save their season from disaster, Cruz Azul came away with a huge 2-1 road victory. Felipe Mora scored both Cruz Azul goals in the 3rd & 27th minutes, while Morelia’s only goal came on a Diego Valdes free kick in the 56th minute. But Valdes also hurt Morelia now & later because as soon as the game ended, he said something to the referee and earned a Rojas! HE GONE! So now his regular season is over because he’ll miss next week, and this loss means there is still a chance Morelia misses the playoffs if everything goes perfectly wrong for them. As for Cruz Azul, this win combined with the Atlas tie earlier this week gets them back into the top 8 for now, bumping Toluca onto the bubble as Cruz Azul currently holds 7th. Morelia has the tougher matchup in their finale as they host Necaxa in a potential playoff spot-decider, while Cruz Azul gets an easier possible in as they host Veracruz.
Goals-Felipe Mora 2 (Cruz Azul, 3′, 27′, 7th of tournament), DIego Valdes (Morelia, 56′, 5th of tournament)
Shots on Goal-Cruz Azul 4
Corner Kicks-Cruz Azul 6, Morelia 4
Amarillas-Cruz Azul 4 (Julian Velazquez, 55′, Gabriel Penalba, 58′, Gerardo Flores, 78′, Edgar Mendez, 90+1′), Morelia 4 (Valdes, 38′, Gabriel Achiller, 70′, Jefferson Cuero, 79′, Rodrigo Millar, 90+3′)
Rojas-Morelia 1 (Valdes, End of game)
Venue: Estadio Morelos, Morelia, Michoacan
Morelia-at Necaxa (11/18)
Cruz Azul-Veracruz (11/18)
The suddenly-slumping Cruz Azul hosted Tigres yesterday looking to stop a 1-3 skid following their year-opening 10-game unbeaten streak that has jeopardized their playoff chances. The champs didn’t oblige as the visitors edged out a 2-1 win that guaranteed Tigres a chance for the Apertura & league three-peat. Cruz Azul started well thanks to Francisco Silva’s 4th-minute goal, as well as Tigres drawing 3 Amarillas in the first 20+ minutes, but then right before halftime Angel Mena set Cruz Azul’s fate in motion with 2 Amarillas, the latter right before halftime drawing both a PENAL! for Tigres and a Rojas! HE GONE! Anselmo Junior converted the PENAL! to make it 1-1 at halftime, With Cruz Azul a man down, Tigres added an Eduardo Vargas goal in the 52nd minute and kept the hosts off the board the rest of the way to secure the victory. As a result, Tigres has clinched a playoff berth as the only team that can still catch them in the standings outside the top 8 is Atlas, Cruz Azul is now out of reach.
Goals-Francisco Silva (Cruz Azul, 4′, 1st of tournament), Anselmo Junior (Tigres, 45+3′, 3rd of tournament, Penalty Kick), Eduardo Vargas (Tigres, 52′, 5th of tournament)
Shots on Goal-Cruz Azui 1
Corner Kicks-Tigres 6, Cruz Azul 4
Amarillas-Tigres 3 (Andre-Pierre Gignac, 10′, Jesus Duenas, 19′, Vargas, 19′), Cruz Azul 2 (Angel Mena, 21′, Enzo Roco Roco, 41′)
Rojas-Cruz Azul 1 (Mena, 45′)
Venue: Estadio Azul, Mexico City
Attendance: 17,254 (52.2% capacity)
Cruz Azul-at Morelia (11/3)