Image via ligamx.net
Cruz Azul nearly ensured a place in the Liguilla after claiming a 1-0 victory over crosstown rivals Pumas UNAM at the Estadio Olimpico Universitario on Sunday.
Roque Santa Cruz scored the only goal of the game in the 34th minute as Pumas saw their four-game winning streak at home come to an end.
With the result, Guillermo Vazquez’s men look doomed to miss a place in the Liguilla, while Cruz Azul have faith in their own hands heading into the last week of play in the regular season.
It was a game of far and few chances, but Pumas were unlucky not to net after 22 minutes. Matias Britos gathered a pass inside the box, but his near-post shot was brilliantly saved by Jose de Jesus Corona.
Pumas looked like the most dangerous side, and three minutes later, Corona again kept out an Ismael Sosa close-range shot following a corner.
Despite Pumas’ early dominance, the hosts fell behind when star-signing Roque Santa Cruz finished past Alfredo Saldivar inside the six-yard box from a Gerardo Flores pass.
In the 73rd minute, Corona played hero again when he was forced to a full-stretch save from a Matias Britos shot.
In truth, Cruz Azul were the closer side to scoring a second, and Julio Cesar Dominguez almost sealed the game for the visitors after Saldivar had to nod away his header.
At the final whistle, Cruz Azul held on for an important three points in terms of their Liguilla aspirations.