Maxi Meza Puts Monterrey On Champions League Final Doorstep

Rayados got the win, but Cruz Azul's Andrés Gudiño recorded four vital saves.

The Clausura and Campeón de Campeones titles signaled a clear change in Cruz Azul’s fortunes, and backup goalkeeper Andrés Gudiño continued that roll in the CCL semifinals at Estadio BBVA on Wednesday night to ensure that La Máquina stayed within striking distance of Rayados come the return leg at the Azteca on Sep. 16. Monterrey won 1-0, but that never really does seem like a good result in CONCACAF.

Especially since Monterrey could’ve buried Cruz Azul before then, but Rogelio Funes Mori’s record-setting goal for Rayados might never come.

The difference on the night was provided by the connection between Carlos Rodríguez and Maxi Meza in the ninth-minute.  

Gudiño kept Rayados from adding to that lead, most notably with this improbable stop that the referee thought could’ve only hit the crossbar and gone out. 

But Cabecita Rodríguez provided his moments for Cruz Azul — teeing up Juan Escobar and narrowly missing the target on a lob — and the second leg will be exactly what we want from the CCL. 

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