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Cruz Azul shock Chivas to win Copa por Mexico title

Cruz Azul defeated Chivas by a 2-0 score that gave them the preseason tournament title.

Chivas v Cruz Azul - Copa Por Mexico 2022 Photo by Carlos Zepeda/Jam Media/Getty Images

Cruz Azul won the Copa por Mexico title after surprising Chivas and winning the final by a 2-0 score. Chivas came into the final heavily favored after winning all their matches in the competition and getting to host the final with Estadio Jalisco’s pitch deemed not suitable, resulting in the game being moved to Chivas’ Estadio Omnilife. Yet it was Cruz Azul who struck at the right time and took advantage of mistakes by the home side as well as controversial decisions to grab the preseason tournament title a week before the start of the Clausura 2023.

With the game being a final, both teams came out with their best 11. There was a minute of silence that turned into a minute of applause because of the death of Pele. The first good chance came when a cross by Alejandro Mayorga was just out of reach of Santiago Ormeño, who would’ve had a tap in chance had he gotten to it. A terrible mistake from Chivas’ goalkeeper Miguel Jimenez, who went out off a cross but failed to control, allowed Uriel Antuna to get a shot with an empty goal, but a Chivas defender was able to clear the ball before it reached the line. Because of an injury, Carlos Rotondi had to be subbed out for Christian Tabo. A cross into the area found a wide open Pavel Perez, but his volley went well wide. Another cross into the area in the last minute of the half found Ormeño, who got a header from close range right to Cruz Azul’s keeper Jesus Corona. The halftime whistle blew and the game had been very even, just as you’d expect a final to be.

The second half got under way with Chivas subbing out Zahid Muñoz for Alexis Vega. Tabo was given time and space outside of the area to get off a shot that Jimenez was able to save. Off a corner, the cross found a wide open Isaac Brizuela, who whiffed his header, wasting a great chance. After a great run, Alexis Gutierrez got into the area and got off a great right-footed shot that went past Jimenez for the 1-0 lead. The goal came as a surprise as Chivas were having their best moments of the match, but it was Cruz Azul who struck. A good cross into the area found Gonzalez, but his backheel shot went right to Corona. Chivas then subbed out Fernando Beltran for Victor Guzman, who made his debut for Chivas. A very controversial play occurred when Carneiro made a bad cut on Gonzalez with a clear elbow to the face that should’ve been a red, but since the tournament has no V.A.R., the play was missed and no foul was given. Then, after a clearance, the ball fell in the path of Gonzalo Carneiro, who got off a left-footed shot striaght to goalkeeper Miguel Jimenez, but the ball incredibly slipped through his arms, giving Cruz Azul the 2-0 lead. Chivas kept trying, but Cruz Azul held on for the win.

La Maquina have now won both Copa por Mexico tournaments and have curiously defeated Chivas in both finals. This time it was a but more surprising as Chivas had home field advantage, as well as coming in with 4 wins in 4 matches. Guadalajara’s fans were excited coming in, but after a good spell of play in the first half, their team turned in a lackluster performance in the second 45 minutes, where even when the referee could be to blame for a few decisions, the loss is still on them, especially the second goal’s blunder by goalkeeper Miguel Jimenez. Cruz Azul struck at the right time and got a deserved win, getting another title and stealing Chivas’ thunder coming into the season. Now, both teams will focus on the real thing that is the Clausura 2023, where both have tough openers. Cruz Azul travel to open their season against Tijuana, while Chivas have an even tougher match, opening their season away against Monterrey.