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Ulloa on target as Pachuca beat Cruz Azul 3-1

Pachuca v Cruz Azul - Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

Leonardo Ulloa’s early goal inspired Pachuca to a 3-1 win over nine-man Cruz Azul on Saturday.

Pachuca’s early dominance was rewarded when Jose de Jesus Corona’s mistiming on a cross led to Ulloa scoring the go-ahead goal in the eighth minute.

Soon after a pair of chances from the hosts, the night went from bad to worse for Cruz Azul when José Madueña was controversially sent off for an apparent stomp on Jorge Daniel “Burrito” Hernandez.

Less than ten minutes after the sending off, Pachuca doubled their lead when a Miguel Tapias shot was deflected into the back of the net.

Pachuca’s high-pressing side didn’t stop there, and in the 41st minute, a lovely play from the right-hand side from Victor Guzman set up Pablo Lopez to nod home Pachuca’s third.

However, Cruz Azul hit back almost immediately, and Pablo Aguilar’s header brought the Cementeros some hope going into to the second half.

Cruz Azul’s second half stance was, no doubt, courageous, with coach Pedro Caixinha making three offensive changes, and they came close to getting one back through Milton Caraglio when he slammed the ball into a defender following a great play from Elias Hernandez.

Unfortunately for Caraglio, though, he would be sent off moments later for a dangerous tackle on Emmanuel Garcia, essentially sealing the victory for Pachuca.

The Tuzos even gave themselves the luxury to make it four goals, but Angelo Sagal’s shot was denied from point-blank range by Jose de Jesus Corona.

With the result, Pachuca momentarily move back to the top-half of the table with 15 points, while Cruz Azul suffered only their second defeat of the campaign.