Cruz Azul demolished an Arcahaie FC team that was out of their element by an 8-0 score, booking their ticket to the Quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. Cruz Azul completely dominated a Haitian side that needed monetary help from CONCACAF to get to Mexico to play the match, and who suffered greatly from the altitude in Mexico City to crush their way with an alternate squad. They will now wait on the winners of the Leon vs Toronto FC Leg for their opponent.
Cruz Azul started with another alternate lineup, although keeping one or two regular starters like Yoshimar Yotun and Pol Fernandez. Also starting once again for Cruz Azul was goalkeeper Sebastian Jurado, for the first time since winning the U23 CONCACAF Championship. A minute in, it looked like Santiago Gimenez was brought down in the area and was hurt. Octavio Rivero took the ball and hit a cross that Arcahaie’s goalkeeper Camy Marcelin got to and fumbled it right into the path of Alexis Gutierrez, who easily scored in the empty net. There was some controversy as the linesman seemed to argue that Gimenez was offside even when he wasn’t part of the play, but it was allowed to stand. After a couple of minutes, a cross into the area found Yoshimar Yotun who easily headed the ball past Marcelin for the 2-0 lead. 15 minutes in Arcahaie made their first substitution by subbing in Ose Charles, as Arcahaie looked to be having a hard time in the first minutes of the game. Cruz Azul had a good chance when Marcelin cleared the ball right to the path of Walter Montoya, but his lob failed went over the bar. Later the ball got in the area and Elias Hernandez got off a right footed shot past Marcelin to make it 3-0. Cruz Azul had another opportunity when Montoya got a ball in the area and his shot hit the post which bounced right back to him, but his second shot was saved by Marcelin. Then another shot from Yotun would hit the post after being deflected and misjudged by Marcelin. Cruz Azul continued to dominate even when they slowed down their speed. At halftime time the whistle blew with the 3-0 lead.
The second half started with Cruz Azul subbing out Pol Fernandez and Adrian Aldrete for Roberto Alvarado and Juan Escobar. It wouldn’t take long for Cruz Azul to score again. Marcelin made a pass to Dany Jean, who made a mistake and gave the pass to Santi Gimenez. Gimenez then passed to a wide open Walter Montoya who easily shot it into the empty net for the 4-0 lead. Minutes in it looked like an Arcahaie player was injured, and it took a long time for the medical team to treat the player, Jhonciny Desronvil. The Arcahaie player would have to be given oxygen and taken to an ambulance. Santiago Gimenez looked to have scored but his goal was ruled offside in a terrible decision, as replays showed that he was very clearly onside. Cruz Azul subbed out Elias Hernandez and Ignacio Rivero for Brayan Angulo and Jaiber Jimenez. Then Gimenez got past three defenders and was able to find Josue Reyes in the area, who shot it past Marcelin to make it 5-0. Later on a counter attack, Gimenez went on a one on one with the goalkeeper and then made a great pass to Walter Montoya, who once again was able to score into a wide open net for the 6-0 lead. Cruz Azul would make his last substitution by subbing out Yoshimar Yotun for Rodrigo Huescas. Then after a cross into the area, Arcahaie left Brayan Angulo wide open and he easily volleyed the ball into the net to bring the score to 7-0. There was then reports that Desronvil wasn’t taken to the hospital in what were great news. Cruz Azul were now totally dominating, and the Arcahaie team that was suffering severely from the altitude in Mexico City. Cruz Azul would then miss two sitters. First it was Gimenez who had a ball in the area but his left foot shot went wide. Then a great cross from Huescas found a wide open Angulo, whose header went well wide. Then Juan Escobar would get a rocket shot from outside the area that went past the hands of Marcelin for the 8-0 lead. Later an Arcahaie player would step on Sebastian Jurado in an awfully violent play that the ref didn’t see. The whistle blew in the 90th minute and Cruz Azul had gotten the expected victory over an Arcahaie team that was in over their head.
Cruz Azul bounced back from a terribly disappointing result to get an expected crushing win to qualify to the next round. Days before their most important match of the season against rivals America, they gave a good opportunity to their substitute players. Cruz Azul will now have to look forward a tougher leg against either Toronto FC or Leon, in which resting players might spell the end of their participation of the tournament. With the next leg coming in the middle of their very important closing of the tournament, it might be a tough decision in the eyes of the fans who clamor for another title and looks as promising as ever to get their first Liga MX title since 1997.