Cruz Azul Breaks The Curse And Claims The Liga MX Title

Cruz Azul defeated Santos Laguna 2-1 on aggregate to win the 2021 Guard1anes Final.

With the clock reading 50:17, Estadio Azteca erupted with the sort of guttural wall of noise that we haven’t heard since the onset of the pandemic. In it was the cathartic joy of thousands venting and releasing the pain of 23 years of hurt, six lost finals and the tension that'd been ratcheted to a breaking point ever since Diego Valdés’ thunderous equalizer for Santos Laguna in the 37th minute.

It was Yoshimar Yotún who fashioned the chance with a well-timed dash into Santos’ half before pulling it across for one of Guillermo Fernández or Cabecita Rodríguez, but Fernández did exceptionally well to leave it to Cabecita because the Argentine appeared marginally offside. 

The Uruguayan buried his effort beyond Carlos Acevedo to restore Cruz Azul’s one-goal aggregate lead.     

Before that goal, the Cruzazulear script appeared written again. La Máquina spent the first 20 minutes inviting the Guerreros onto them, and it was obvious that the home side would never protect its 1-0 lead while surrendering nearly 75% possession. 

Even the likes of Piojo Alvarado and Luis Romo were pitching in defensively, but Santos eventually leveled the aggregate score at 1-1 after Valdés escaped from Cata Domínguez before rifling a left-footed effort into the roof of the net.   

But Cruz Azul crafted its moment of glory shortly after halftime before holding on for dear life as Santos launched cross after cross into the box and peppered Jesús Corona’s net. La Máquina held firm, frustrating Santos to the point of a bench-clearing donnybrook in added time.

The final whistle was greeted with pure ecstasy.

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