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Neither of these sides are doing as well as they’d like, that is for certain. Mazatlan are in 10th position in the league but have been quite inconsistent all season, whereas Cruz Azul have been languishing towards the bottom in 16th place in the league and looking desperately for points.
Mazatlan have got the slight psychological edge with a greater head-to-head record that includes 12 wins, nine losses and eight draws in the 29 encounters between the sides. Looking at that and the current fortunes of the two sides, it’s hard to see Cruz Azul get anything from this, however, Cruz Azul will be backing themselves on home turf and the match up might just suit them because Mazatlan have struggled to score goals all season. Cruz Azul have got another gear in them and this seems like the perfect opponent to showcase it against.
The last match between the two sides was a 1-1 draw back in April. Mazatlan were the slightly superior side on the day with 54% of the possession. They also got 14 shots on goal with four on target. Cruz Azul were quite competitive with 13 shots of their own and four on target. They had to come back from a goal down after Roberto Meraz put Mazatlan ahead in the 39th minute.
Cruz Azul equalized immediately after the second half whistle was blown thanks to an Angel Romero strike and had to ultimately settle for a draw. A draw wouldn’t be the worst result for Cruz Azul considering their current circumstances but they can definitely get more because the match up should suit them. The last thing a team that is struggling should do is feel sorry for themselves and they have a great chance to go up the table in this tie.
Cruz Azul suffered a fourth defeat in their last six matches to Monterrey in an exciting match that ended 3-2 in favor of Monterrey on Tuesday. Cruz Azul were quite clinical on the day, getting two goals from their two shots Carlos Rotondi in the 30th minute and Uriel Antuna in the 49th minute.
The two goals looked like they might help the side lead a great comeback as Monterrey had gone 2-0 up by the 28th minute thanks to goals from Jesús Gallardo and Luis Romo but it wasn’t to be for Cruz Azul.
Germán Berterame scored the winner for Monterrey in the 66th minute and that was that. They’ll have learned a hard lesson. They had the momentum with the comeback and should have capitalized on it but gave Monterrey a way back into the game.
No team in the Liga MX has conceded more than Cruz Azul’s 31 goals in this season. It’s obvious that this isn’t good enough. They have the worst goal difference as well of -13. The team needs to start from scratch and learn what it’s like to be hard to beat again before thinking of what they do going forward. If they continue like this, every team will believe they have a chance against them.
They also don’t have enough goals in the side to even things out but have more of a goal threat than their upcoming opponents. The manager and his staff need to devise a plan and mentally prepare the side to not give cheap goals away. It’s the base on which all competitive teams are built on.
Just like the last game highlighted, the matches that include Cruz Azul are great as spectacles with 27 goals involved in the last six matches that Cruz Azul have participated in. However, only nine of them have come from Cruz Azul. This match doesn’t really have the makings of a high-scoring encounter because of Mazatlan’s lack of goal scoring prowess, which might just help them a little.
They can play their game without having to worry as much about what’s coming down the other end. The fans are probably sick of getting the reputation as entertainers without getting a lot of points on board.
Alejandro Mayorga has got a torn muscle and Juan Escobar has got a cruciate ligament rupture.
Mazatlan haven’t been great form but they’re slowly making their way up the table. They got a 1-0 victory in midweek against Atlas and are hoping to make this a habit. Mazatlan only had 42% of the possession but got 13 shots on goal with six on target.
Nicolás Benedetti got his goal in the 32nd minute after which Mazatlan decided to shut up shop. They had to suffer with Atlas taking 25 shots on goal but getting only five on target. They’ll be well aware that there’s an expiration date for wins of this kind.
Even though Cruz Azul aren’t in great form, this is still going to be a hard game for Mazatlan. They’ve not lost in their last three away matches, which is a big positive but they haven’t been free-scoring at all, scoring only 14 goals so far in the Liga MX season.
It helps that they’ve been efficient when the chances do drop. It isn’t pretty on the eye but gets the job done. They’ll need to do the same against Cruz Azul, who are a little fragile at the moment and take their chances when they come.
Mazatlan still have a negative goal difference, having scored 14 and conceded 16. Winning by narrow margins isn’t sustainable and they’re playing the leakiest side in the league next. If they can’t take advantage of a side that’s already conceded 31 goals this season, they aren’t likely to do anything special this season. They’ve been patchy all season but doing enough to keep ticking upwards.
The likes of Gonzalo Sosa, who has only scored four goals so far in this campaign, should be relishing the opportunity of adding to his tally in games like this. They shouldn’t invite trouble and hope for the best because even though Cruz Azul aren’t great at the moment, they’ve got a goal in them, having scored four more goals than Mazatlan in the Liga MX campaign so far.
Taking less than five shots and being susceptible to over 20 as was the case in their last match isn’t sustainable in the long run. They have to switch things up as and when the game demands.
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|Cruz Azul vs Mazatlan FC
|Sunday, September 11 at 4:00 pm ET onwards
|How to watch
|Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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