Cruz Azul Suffers Historic 4-Goal Collapse In Liga MX Semifinal Second Leg

Cruz Azul had to avoid losing 4-0 on Sunday night. They couldn’t.

I’ll be honest, I had little to no intention of watching tonight’s Liga MX semifinal second leg between Cruz Azul and Pumas. La Máquina had won the first leg 4-0, and although Cruz Azul comes with the factory warning of Cruz Azul-ing, I’d like to think I had better things to do on a Sunday night.

I don't. Sources told me Juan Dinenno had pulled one back for Pumas in the fourth minute, so the gin went in the juice and I turned on TUDN.  

My first impression was that Pumas didn’t necessarily have the requisite quality of firepower to turn it around, but that doesn’t really matter when the opponent is on tilt. 

Dinenno made it 4-2 on aggregate in the 37th-minute after a bit of pinball in the Cruz Azul area.  

The four-goal cushion evaporated to one with four minutes still to play in the first half. More tepid defending allowed Carlos González a couple bites of the cherry and we were witnessing history. 

In the Liga MX playoff semifinals, the away goals rule is applied, but if the two teams are tied on aggregate and away goals, the higher seeded team advances rather than an extra time period. Pumas, as the two-seed with Cruz Azul the four-seed, needed just one more goal in the second half — and a clean sheet — to advance to the final against León. 

Cruz Azul, on the other hand, needed just one goal of its own to damn Pumas into needing three. On a knife-edge is what they say. 

The pace slowed down. A jab here, a feint there, a general sense of what the hell is happening. But then — with one minute of regular time remaining — the knockout punch.

A strong clearance was countered by a hopeful show of strength from Alan Mozo’s right foot. But there’s Juan Vigón, and there’s history.  

It’s another “Cruzazulear” and chapter in the Comizzo curse. Pumas plays León in the two-legged final. 

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