Match: Cruz Azul v CF Monterrey
Date: December 8th, 2018
Time: 7:00 PM CST, 8:00 PM EST, 5:00 PM PST
Venue: Estadio Azteca, CDMX
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First Leg Result: Monterrey 1 - 0 Cruz Azul
Monterrey will be looking to continue their improbable run in the Apertura 2018 Liguilla on Saturday night, as they take on Cruz Azul in CDMX. Cruz Azul is playing at their temporary “home” of the Estadio Azteca while their old home, Estadio Azul, is rebuilt.
Cruz Azul has been the dominate team in the Apertura from almost the entire season, as they flew out of the gate and have been in fine form all season. They’ve already won this season’s Copa MX against Monterrey at the Estadio BBVA Bancomer, so it would be some kind of poetic justice for los Rayados to deny Cruz Azul a chance at a league title at their temporary home.
The biggest news ahead of this match, as far as Monterrey fans are concerned, is that Jonathan Gonzalez is ready to return after suffering an injury against Toluca. While the central midfield pair of Celso Oritz and Carlos Rodríguez have been pretty good, Gonzalez is an excellent defensive midfielder that will allow the other players to join the attack.
Monterrey go into this match with a one-goal advantage and they have been riding a three-match clean sheet streak in the Liguilla. They blanked Santos Laguna, a team that hadn’t failed to score in any match for the entire Apertura 2018.
Cruz Azul failing to win at “home” and losing at this stage would be the ultimate “Cruz Azul” thing to do, so Cruz Azul fans will be hoping that whatever curse their team seemed to have ended with the old stadium and that the team can come from behind and get a result against a team that they already beat twice this season.
Will Cruz Azul be able to put the ghosts of past failures behind them? Or will los Rayados be able to continue winning in the unfamiliar position of being underdogs? We’ll find out on Saturday night.