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Cruz Azul: Out of the woods yet?

La Máquina are now winners of two straight and appear to have gotten their groove back.

Queretaro v Cruz Azul - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Omar Martinez Martinez/Getty Images

A week ago today, Cruz Azul sat bottom of the league table with two losses after as many matches played, no goals accounted for to go along with two dreadful performances, rumors of some key players wanting out, adjusting to a new head coach, and even some fans jumping ship, with others at least thinking about it. In other words, all but the world was coming to an end after that four-game losing streak.

Then, ‘La Máquina’ visited Pachuca last Monday, where after a subpar performance, they held a 1-0 lead heading into the final minutes of the match holding on for dear life. Had Pachuca players not had such a terrible aim that day and if Quiroga had remembered he knows how to put a ball in the back of the net from six yards out, Pachuca should’ve run over Cruz Azul easily. By the way, Pachuca are just one of four teams that remain winless. And yesterday, a Gallos Blancos squad who haven’t won a road game in nearly a year (February 16, 2020 at Necaxa), appeared to have forgotten how to play defense after two big wins at home in a row, and got absolutely thrashed by Juan Reynoso’s team by a 4-1 final.

In fact, yesterday was by far the best game we’ve seen from Cruz Azul since their 4-0 first leg semifinal victory last season. They were on point in nearly all of their passes, created countless dangerous approaches on Querétaro’s goal, and everyone stepped up offensively, confirming they don’t depend on just one body to score. They looked like the Cruz Azul of old. That being said, without taking anything away from these two victories, they have by no means proven anything yet. This remains an extremely competitive and talented squad who should’ve made last season’s final. But let’s face it, they were expected to win these past two games.

While it’s great for Cruz Azul fans everywhere to see this team come to life one again, in no shape or form should anyone be assuming the die has been cast just yet. They fell in a deep mental hole and will take some time to climb out of and overcome it. They must prove they’re ready to face the big dogs once again. Say, like in two weeks, when they pay San Nicolás de los Garza a visit, as they greet Tigres who will be coming off their Club WC performance. That’s their chance to confirm this sudden streak which began just six days ago.

But the fact they’ve defeated a winless team and another who hasn’t won on the road in a year doesn’t exactly prove anything, especially for a big club like Cruz Azul. Up next for ‘La Máquina’ is a gritty, yet extremely limited Necaxa. They should be able to overcome Pepe Cruz and this squad playing with the quality they showed yesterday, as Luis Romo, Orbelín Pineda, “Cabecita” Rodríguez and those bad boys looked unstoppable. I expect to see that on a more consistent basis if they wish to get far this season. If they do overcome Necaxa, that would make for a finger-licking match against Tuca and his Tigres. Not to mention, the chance to get back into the championship conversation.