Cruz Azul in driver’s seat ahead of Mexican soccer playoff clash vs Queretaro
Cruz Azul is in a commanding position heading into the second leg of its quarter-final series versus Queretaro in the Mexican soccer league’s Apertura 2018 playoffs, having won the first match on the road 2-0.
Pablo Aguilar and Edgar Mendez supplied the goals for the top-seeded Mexico City side in Wednesday’s first leg in the central city of Queretaro.
Cruz Azul had the best defense (just 13 goals allowed in 17 matches) and the best home mark (8-1-0 at Estadio Azteca) of any Liga MX team during the Apertura regular season.
Queretaro, which will have no choice but to go on the attack in hopes of pulling off a shocking turn-around, will look to Brazilian forward Camilo Sanvezzo to lead the way.
Cruz Azul, meanwhile, can advance to the semi-finals with any type of draw or even with a 2-1 loss.
In other action on Saturday, Santos Laguna (winner of the most recent league title, the 2017-2018 season’s Clausura championship) will need to pull off a comeback victory over Monterrey.
The Rayados won the first leg 1-0 thanks to a spectacular goal by Argentina’s Rogelio Funes Mori but will be hard-pressed to shut out Julio Furch and Jonathan Rodriguez (two of the top goal scorers during the Apertura regular season) for a second straight game.
The quarter-finals will end on Sunday with a pair of second-leg matches in Mexico City pitting Club America against Toluca (tied at 2-2) and Pumas UNAM against Tigres UANL (the Tigres lead 2-1).
The Apertura 2018 semi-finals will start next week.