Chivas surprised many as they come away with an away win over Cruz Azul on Saturday. Young Chivas and Mexico prospect Ronaldo Cisneros got the late goal to give Chivas their third win in three games this semester. La Maquina has now lost two straight games at home, with their last defeat being against America in the Final (coincidentally the two biggest teams in Mexico). Cruz Azul, who might have been distracted with the news all week about key player Ivan Marcone leaving to Boca Juniors, have so far had a disappointing start to their Liga MX season.
Chivas’s first visit to Cruz Azul in their new Azteca era was filled with a lot of anticipation, although a lot was lost with the distraction of Cruz Azul losing one of its key players. Ivan Marcone, who many though was the best acquisition last season, was leaving Cruz Azul for Boca Juniors. Marcone was key to Cruz Azul’s title run, and although there are talks about Cruz Azul looking for a replacement, it wouldn’t be by the time Chivas came to town. Still, Cruz Azul was probably the favorite team and they had more of the possession for most of the match.
That said, it was Chivas who at times looked the most dangerous. In the first half, it was Chivas who came closest to opening the score when Cruz Azul’s keeper Jesus Corona had to make a diving save off a cross from Alexis Vega. A Jair Pereira header was the next best chance of a very even first half.
The second half open with Chivas having a good opportunity wasted by Carlos Cisneros, and then Cruz Azul had their best opportunity when Elias Hernandez had a great shot saved by Chivas’ keeper Raul Gudiño.
After winning a ball, Orbelin Pineda came close to opening the score against his old team, but his shot when wide from Gudiño’s goal.
Milton Caraglio then looked to have open the score but his headed goal was called off by offside even before he connected with the ball.
Late in the game, Ronaldo Cisneros, who had come on for Vega, scored the only goal of the game to give Chivas the win. Ronaldo go behind the Cruz Azul defense to pounce off a weak shot from Carlos Cisneros, to beat Corona and score the 1-0.
While Chivas looked dangerous in many counter attacks, they never came close to scoring another goal, but neither did Cruz Azul, even when the final minutes were filled with crosses into their offensive players that either fell to Gudiño or were headed wide.
Chivas have now won all their games in 2019 and have done so playing well in both Copa MX and Liga MX. It’s a nice surprise, especially after a very disappointing finish to their 2018 year following a sixth-place finish in the Club World Cup. Meanwhile, Cruz Azul will need to pick it up and it seems as they still can’t shake the disappointment of losing the Liga MX final.
Chivas will now go home to Guadalajara, where they will have two games, in Copa MX against Cafetaleros de Tapachula and in Liga MX against Toluca. Cruz Azul will remain in Mexico City for their Copa MX debut against Leon and then will travel to Monterrey to play in a tough Liga MX match against Tigres.