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Cruz Azul have not been at their best when they face Puebla and have not won any of the last six meetings. Their last win over the opponents was back in 2018, which will be playing at the back of the players’ minds. The last time these two sides met was back in March, when they clashed in Clausura. Puebla were on top of their game at that time and managed to win the game 3-1.
Fernando Aristeguieta scored a hat-trick for Puebla, while Juan Escobar scored just two minutes after the opponents took the lead in the 7th minute. While Cruz Azul managed to make a quick comeback after the first goal, they could not repeat it after the second and third goals and ended up losing the game.
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When Cruz Azul last won in this fixture, they managed to do it in style. They defeated Puebla 3-0, but all three goals came in the dying minutes of the game. Andrés Rentería scored the opening goal of the game in the 81st minute, while Milton Caraglio made it 2-0 from the spot just a minute into injury time. Elías Hernández added the third a minute later to seal the win and help Cruz Azul continue their dominant form that season.
The home side impressed in that match and did not allow Puebla a single shot on target. They dominated the possession and took 18 shots, eight of which were on target. Despite missing four of the six big chances they created, they managed to keep a clean sheet and win comfortably.
Cruz Azul finished 8th in the Apertura and Clausura last year and are working to improve their position this time around. The club knows that they can move up the table and try and work on getting an automatic qualification for the quarterfinal this time.
Cruz Azul have signed Carlos Rotondi from Defensa while loaning Gonzalo Carneiro from FC Sion. They have also promoted youngster Rodrigo Huescas from their U20 side to the first team this season. The club has seen a few exits, with Rómulo Otero, Pablo Aguilar, Adrián Aldrete, and Guillermo Allison leaving on a free transfer. Luis Abram and Alejandro Mayorga will also be missing from last season’s squad after their loan deal expired and they returned to their own clubs.
Despite the additions, things have not really changed on the pitch. Cruz Azul started the season with a win but needed a penalty in injury time to seal it. They were at Tigres UANL on the opening weekend and managed to take the lead via Rafael Baca in the 16th minute. They held onto the lead until halftime, but Florian Thauvin leveled things up just minutes after the restart.
Ángel Romero restored the lead for Azul after the hour mark, but once again, they let it slip. Sebastián Córdova got on the scoresheet this time for the home side, and the game looked set for a draw. Azul got a penalty deep into stoppage time, and Santiago Giménez made no mistake from the spot.
Santiago Giménez scored another stoppage-time penalty in the second game as well, but that was not enough to get them even a point from the match against Pachuca. Gustavo Cabral and Luis Chávez had scored in the first half to give the away side a comfortable 2-0 lead, and that helped them stay ahead and not let the penalty change the result of the game.
Santiago Giménez made it three goals in three games when he got on the scoresheet in the first half against Atlas. He scored the equalizer after Jonathan Herrera handed the home team the lead in the 10th minute. Jeremy Márquez scored just minutes after coming on in the second half, before Julián Quiñones made it 3-1 to the home team in the 82nd minute. Christian Tabó pulled one back in the 86th minute to make it a dramatic ending to the game, but neither side could get another goal from there, and the match ended in another loss for Cruz Azul.
No player is ruled out for Cruz Azul, and everyone is available for the upcoming game.
Puebla missed the chance to qualify automatically for the Clausura season’s quarterfinals after losing all of their last three matches. They needed just one point from those games to stay in the top 4, which they had for most of the season, but couldn’t keep the fairytale going at the business end of the league.
In order to avoid a repeat of that, Puebla have bolstered their squad with a few signings this summer. Iván Moreno, Gastón Silva, Luis García, Jordi Cortizo, and Martín Lagunes have been signed. Omar Fernández has joined on loan from Club Leon, while Alberto Herrera has been promoted from the U20 squad. Juan Pablo Segovia, Ángel Robles, and Javier Salas have left the club, while Jordi Cortizo and Guillermo Martínez have returned to their respective clubs following the expiry of their loan deals.
They started their season with a game at Mazatlan and were off to a flying start. Israel Reyes and Fernando Aristeguieta scored in the first 14 minutes to hand them a 2-0 lead, and the scoreline remained that way until halftime.
After the restart, things changed quickly as Eduard Bello scored for the home side, and they grew in confidence. Martín Barragán scored a minute after coming on for Puebla to ease the nerves, and Amaury Escoto sealed the win with the fourth goal in the 76th minute. Gabriel Lopez pulled one back for Mazatlan late in the game but that was not enough to make any changes to the result.
Up against Santos Laguna in their first home game of the season, Puebla took an early lead. Gustavo Ferrareis got on the scoresheet in the 11th minute, and a goal fest was predicted. But despite them dominating possession and having more than 17 shots on goal, they could not score again. They did well to keep Laguna at bay, however, and gave them just one shot on target. The away side could not find the back of the net and ended up losing 1-0.
Omar Fernández scored early for Puebla in the next game when they were up against Club Leon at home. They were 1-0 up and a man up at halftime as Jaine Barreiro was sent off for the away side. The home side were also down to 10 men right after the restart as Maximiliano Araújo was sent off. Lucas Di Yorio made the most of his chance later in the game to level things up.
No player is ruled out for Puebla, but Maximiliano Araújo is suspended for the upcoming game.
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|Cruz Azul vs Puebla
|Saturday, July 23 at 8pm EST 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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