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Club América survive Cruz Azul scare, advance to Liga MX Semifinals

Cruz Azul v America - Playoffs Torneo Clausura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

A second half strike from Jonathan Rodriguez was not enough as Club América sent Cruz Azul packing from the 2019 Liga MX Clausura Liguilla. Las Águilas advanced to the Semifinals after earning a 3-2 aggregate victory.

Cruz Azul, who controlled possession throughout the first half, had their first big chance in the 12th minute when a José Madueña volley went just wide of Agustin Marchesin’s goal.

Moments later on a feed from Milton Caraglio, Jonathan Rodriguez had a golden opportunity to put La Máquina in front but his attempt went high above the bar.

It Uruguayan had further opportunities when he first failed to establish a good shot with Agustin Marchesin off his line and then failed to convert a volley from a failed clearance.

Club América’s loss of focus on the defensive side continued, and in the 38th minute, Cruz Azul had arguably their best chance of the half when a chipped shot from Orbelin Pineda forced a superb save from Marchesin.

Still seeking the breakthrough, Cruz Azul would finally get their reward early in the second half. Roberto Alvarado played a driven pass through the middle for Jonathan Rodriguez, who fired into the back of the net to put La Máquina within one.

The resulting minutes led to Club América having more control of the match upfield, as Miguel Herrera went to veteran Oribe Peralta over Nico Castillo.

For the most part, Miguel Herrera’s strategy worked, but América still had the task of closing down the game defensively.

With literally the last kick of the game, a corner was presented for La Máquina. Pablo Aguilar rose to meet the cross, but Marchesin made a phenomenal save right before the ball crossed the line to send Las Águilas through to the Semifinals of the 2019 Liga MX Clausura.