After 180 minutes, the Mexican Soccer League has a new monarch: Cruz Azul, who won the title at the mythical Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. The machine thus ended with a drought that began after the championship in the winter of 1997.
Santos gave a dance to the Blues in the first half; he maintained possession and leaned against his goal to the rival defense. Despite having won the first leg, having everything in their favor in their stadium against an opponent with terrible numbers as visitors, Cruz Azul looked nervous; Paraguayan defender Pablo Aguilar lost the duels with Eduardo Aguirre, his teammate Juan Escobar was insecure in the rear and the rest bet little.
Santos lacked aim in the area until in 37 Valdés appeared from behind, took advantage of the passivity of the defenders and with a left-footed shot at the angle from outside the area, gave the advantage to Santos and tied the final 1-1.
Reynoso’s team was in the first half a caricature of the powerful leader of the regular phase with the best attack and the safest defense of the season; only Luis Romo maintained the high performance and in the 45th minute he was close to tying the game, appearing between two defenders in the area.
Soccer Football – Liga MX – Final – Cruz Azul v Santos – Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico – May 30, 2021 Cruz Azul’s Jose Corona and Julio Dominguez celebrate with the trophy after winning the Liga MX REUTERS/Henry Romero
Forced to abandon the philosophy of playing not to lose, the same one that cost him to lose six league finals since 1999, Cruz Azul changed the attitude in the second half; Reynoso replaced Roberto Alvarado with Peruvian Yohimar Yotún and Orbelín Pineda with striker Santiago Giménez.
Reynoso’s harangue in the dressing room and the modifications changed the face of Cruz Azul who in 48 had the tie in Giménez’s boots, who lacked the proper timing and let the opportunity go. Three minutes later, the home team reaped the fruits of their new attitude and tied the duel with a right-hand goal from “Cabecita” Rodríguez, a pass from Yotún who had just entered.
After having had Santos in his fist, in 75 Cruz Azul backed down in anticipation of a counterattack and the Uruguayan coach Guillermo Almada, who sent Colombian Andrés Ibarguen and Mexican José Ocejo to the game, revived with a pair of dangerous set pieces.
In 86 Reynoso took his scorer, Jonathan Rodríguez off the field, replaced by José Martínez, a movement to strengthen his defense, the best of the season.
Soccer Football – Liga MX – Final – Cruz Azul v Santos – Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico – May 30, 2021 Cruz Azul’s Luis Romo and teammates celebrate after winning the Liga MX REUTERS/Henry Romero
Cruz Azul suffered. In 93 the goalkeeper José de Jesús Corona was left with a ball in a corner kick and thus prevented the goalkeeper’s shot Carlos Acevedo, who had joined the attack.
The beautiful show got dirty with an outbreak of a fight in 95 in which players from both sides and coach Reynoso were involved; reprimands to the Brazilian defender Matheus Doria, from Santos, and Santiago Giménez, from Cruz Azul, were the last flash of the final. Cruz Azul won its ninth star and got four from América, three from Guadalajara and one from Toluca.
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