Cruz Azul made their home debut in the Clausura 2014 season in a completely empty stadium against Santos. The home side was able to fight back from a goal down, a Christian “Chaco” Gimenez injury, and a brawl that saw new star signing Marco Fabian ejected from the match.
Players yelling instructions at each other was the only thing that was heard all around the Estadio Azul. The match was very even and tightly contested. Neither team was able to establish dominance over the other in the early minutes.
In the 26th minute Oribe Peralta was able to head the ball goal wards after a corner kick. The ex Cruz Azul striker Javier “Chuletita” Orozco was at the far post and poked the ball into the net to give the visitors th 0-1 lead. Due to his Cruz Azul past Orozco decided not to celebrate the goal, rather just kiss the Estadio Azul grass.
Things started going from bad to worse for the home side as one of their biggest attacking weapons Christian “Chaco” Gimenez had to subbed out due to injury in the 30th minute of play.
Nine minutes later Cruz Azul caught a break; center referee decided to show Santos’ Jose Abella a direct red card for a 50/50 challenge between him and Cruz Azul’s Gerardo Torrado.
For the second half the visitor with one man down decided to drop back and defend their one goal lead since Cruz Azul had not produced much danger in the first half. The plan to frustrate the home side was working well until the 78th minute.
With 12 minutes away from the final whistle Marco Fabian did well to chase a bad pass all the way to the end line and manage to send in a cross. Mariano Pavone could not reach the ball, but second half substitute Jeronimo Amione was able to head the ball into the net to equalize the match.
With five minutes to go in the match the game had to be halted because of a brawl between the players after a collision between Amione and Santos goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez. The referee issued several yellow cards including one to Marco Fabian; but no red cards. Two minutes later Fabian still hot-tempered from the brawl went in on a reckless challenge and walked off of the field knowing full well that another card was coming his way.
As time was running out Cruz Azul’s Sergio Napoles sent in a cross from the left side of the field to the middle of the box to where Mariano Pavone was able to jump over everyone and head in the winning goal for the home side.
In week three Cruz Azul will be visiting the Chiapas jungle to face Chiapas FC; while Santos will be hosting Puebla on Friday night.
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