Cruz Azul made history by getting their 12th consecutive win in Liga MX with a 1-0 win over Chivas. Cruz Azul ties the record of most consecutive wins along with Necaxa in the 1934-1935 season and Leon in the Clausura 2019. Cruz Azul was the better team against a Chivas side that went overly defensive at the start and ended up paying for it. Once they got scored, Chivas didn’t have enough time to react. Cruz Azul will now try to get the record in their biggest game of the season when they face rivals Club America while Chivas will return home to face a do or die match against Xolos of Tijuana.
The first half started with Chivas coming out with Alexis Vega as the center instead of Jose Juan Macias or Angel Zaldivar, who were both on the bench. Isaac Brizuela took Vega’s spot as Chivas started with a backline of five players, while Cruz Azul came out with their normal lineup. Cruz Azul had the first opportunity when a good cross by Luis Romo found Jonathan Rodriguez, whose header forced Chivas’ goalkeeper Jose Antonio Rodriguez to make a good save. Chivas got a good opportunity off a corner kick when Antonio Briseño rose to head the ball and his header went just wide. With a Chivas team that was set up to defend, the game started to be very even with Cruz Azul having most of the possession but not creating much danger. Cruz Azul got a good opportunity when Jonathan Rodriguez got the ball in the area and got off a left footed shot, forcing Antonio Rodriguez to make a good save. Minutes later it was Orbelin Pineda who got off a long range shot from outside the area that just went wide. Romo would be next to try with a shot from outside the area but it also went just wide. Chivas had their best opportunity when a cross by Uriel Antuna found Brizuela in the area but his shot was able to be handled by the Cruz Azul defense who cleared it for a corner kick. There was a controversial play when a Orbelin Pineda fell in the area after a possible foul from a Chivas player, but no penalty kick was given. After the halftime whistle blew, Cruz Azul players protested against the call and the ref gave goalkeeper Jesus Corona a Yyellow card and a red card to head coach Juan Reynoso.
The second half started and Chivas had the first opportunity when Jesus Molina got a ball in the area but his shot went straight to the hands of Corona. Chivas would rue the miss minutes later when Cruz Azul scored. Off of a throw in, Cruz Azul was able to get the ball and after a great pass from Roberto Alvarado, Jonathan Rodriguez got with ball into area and with a strong low shot scored to make it 1-0. Cruz Azul came close to get another goal when a header had to be cleared off the line by Alejandro Mayorga. Chivas needed to do something and subbed out Eduardo Torres and Alejandro Mayorga for Jose Juan Macias and Jesus Ricardo Angulo. Cruz Azul started to dominate, and with Chivas needing to get the tie they were opening themselves up for dangerous counters. Cruz Azul started to make moves and subbed out Orbelin Pineda and Rafael Baca for Elias Hernandez and Aldrian Aldrete. Chivas subbed out Isaac Brizuela, Gilbero Sepulveda, and Jesus Molina for Fernando Beltran, Cristian Calderon, and Sergio Flores which meant that they were out of substitutions. Chivas came close when a shot by Beltran got deflected by a Cruz Azul defender and ended up hitting the post and going for a corner kick. Cruz Azul had a great opportunity when Miguel Ponce misjudged a ball and ended up giving Jonathan Rodriguez the ball in the area, but his shot was saved by Jose Antonio Rodriguez. Later Elias Hernandez wasted a great opportunity after getting the ball in the area but his shot went wide in a play that he should have done better. Chivas wasted the best opportunity when after a great play and Antuna cross found Alexis Vega in the area but his shot just went wide. Cruz Azul then subbed out Juan Escobar and Roberto Alvarado for Walter Montoya and Yoshimar Yotun. Cruz Azul had another chance when Romo got off a good shot in the area that forced Rodriguez to make a save. In that same sequence, Romo got a header in the area but Rodriguez pulled up an even better save. There were even cries that the ball had crossed the line, but replays showed that Rodriguez made the save just on the line. Cruz Azul made a final move by subbing out Jonathan Rodriguez for Santiago Gimenez. Chivas continued to try to get a goal but they never even created a dangerous opportunity as the game ended with the record win for Cruz Azul.
Cruz Azul has already made this season historic. Their 12 game winning streaks has them tied and poised to set the record. They are now the favorites to win the Liga MX title, which would be the first since 1997 should they get it. While they normally don’t score as many goals (half of their wins in the streak were on a 1-0 score) as expected, they are almost always deserved win. Still they will have a tough hurdle next week when they face second place Club America, who not only is their biggest rival but a win against Cruz Azul would give them first place and bump Cruz Azul to second. It will be a great match, and all of the eyes of Liga MX fans will be in that match. Chivas meanwhile seems set to miss out on the repechaje. Coach Victor Manuel Vucetich is having a lot of problems, as he can’t seem to get a grip on this team especially on offense. Their conservative defensive approach to this game was criticized by fans and it ended up costing Chivas, as once they went down a goal they didn’t have an answer and wasted a half. They will have a do or die match next week when they host Tijuana, as anything but a win will have Chivas almost out of postseason talks even when they still have an extra game left since their match against Monterrey was postponed.