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Cruz Azul are on a poor run, and that is set to continue this week as they are up against Toluca and will very likely face another defeat.
Pick made on 08/11/2022 at 05:20 PM EST
Cruz Azul have beaten Toluca in their last three meetings but will find it hard to win this week. They are up against a side that is on a roll while they are struggling to find form themselves.
In the last five meetings between these two sides, Cruz Azul have beaten Toluca four time. They have tasted defeat once, and that was in Clausura last year.
When the two sides met back in Clausura earlier this year, Cruz Azul managed a comfortable 4-1 win. They let Toluca keep the ball but made the most of their chances and scored the goals to seal the win.
Juan Escobar opened the scoring for Azul in the 7th minute, but the lead lasted just 13 minutes. Camilo Sanvezzo equalized for the home side, and the teams went in level at halftime.
Both sides were awarded penalties by the referee in the second half, but VAR ruled them out. Carlos Rodríguez managed to get Cruz Azul’s second goal of the game in the 64th minute, and it was one-way traffic since then. Santiago Giménez then scored twice in four minutes to help seal a 4-1 win over Toluca.
The last time Toluca defeated Cruz Azul was in the knockout stages of the Clausura 2021. Alexis Canelo handed them the lead in the 27th minute after converting from the spot. Pol Fernández ensured the away side were back in the game just seven minutes later, and the score remained level at halftime.
Toluca got another penalty early in the second half, and Michael Estrada scored without any issue. The matches remained 2-1 until the end, but it was of no use. They went on to lose 3-1 in the second leg of the fixture, and Azul made it to the next round.
Cruz Azul finished 8th in Apertura and Clausura last season and were looking to push on this season. However, things have not gone to plan for them, and they are struggling for results.
The lack of results is not due to their transfer activities, as they signed Carlos Rotondi and Ramiro Funes Mori this summer. They also loaned in Gonzalo Carneiro, while Rodrigo Huescas was promoted from the U20 side.
However, they had one significant loss in the form of Santiago Giménez. The striker had started the season well but has moved to Feyenoord. Rómulo Otero, Pablo Aguilar, Adrián Aldrete, Guillermo Allison and Pablo Ceppelini have been released, while Luis Ángel Mendoza was left out of the final squad.
Cruz Azul started the season with a dramatic win over Tigres UNAL. They took the lead via Rafael Baca in the first half, but the scores were level quickly after the second half started. Florian Thauvin leveled things up for the home team before Ángel Romero restored Azul’s lead in the 63rd minute.
Sebastián Córdova popped up to score the equalizer for Tigres in the 75th minute, and the match seemed like it was heading for a draw. The away side were handed a late penalty and Santiago Giménez converted from the spot in the 93rd minute to seal the win.
They could not carry the momentum from the late win in their next two games, as they lost both. Pachuca defeated them 2-1, while Atlas also managed to edge out a 3-2 win over Azul. Santiago Giménez scored in both games to help them keep the scoreline respectable.
The striker scored twice in the first half against Puebla, but Azul could not manage a win again. They were held to a 2-2 draw after Martín Barragán and Jordi Cortizo scored for the away side. Things got worse for Azul as Santiago Giménez was forced out with an injury in the second half of the goalless draw against Atletico de San Luis.
Iván Morales helped them end their 4-match winless streak by scoring the lone goal in the win over Club Necaxa. He scored in the 18th minute of the match, and that was enough for them to collect all three points.
However, once again Azul could not carry the momentum into the next match and were thrashed by Santos Laguna. Javier Correa, Hugo Rodríguez, Eduardo Aguirre and Carlos Orrantia scored for the home side as they registered a 4-0 win.
Toluca finished 6th in Apertura last season, but were knocked out in the reclassification round by Pumas UNAM. They were looking to do better in Clausura but ended up finishing outside the top 12 and thus failing to make it to the playoffs.
To avoid a repeat, Toluca spent wisely in the transfer market to bring in Jean Meneses, Carlos González, Tiago Volpi, Marcel Ruiz, Andrés Mosquera, and Brayan Angulo. Fernando Navarro and Sebastián Saucedo have also been lured on transfers, while Jorge Rodríguez has earned his promotion from the U20 side.
There were a few exits as well with Alexis Canelo, Óscar Vanegas, Kevin Castañeda, Ian González, Diego Rigonato and Diego Rosales leaving on a free transfer. Pablo González, Adrián Mora and Iván Acero also left the club for undisclosed fee.
The additions in the transfer market have done them well on the pitch as they started the season in fine fashion. With wins over Club Necaxa and Atlas in their first two matches, Toluca looked like a side that was ready to challenge for the top once again.
However, they were handed a reality check by Club America in the next match. The home side edged out a 1-0 win with Richard Sánchez scoring deep into stoppage time.
Toluca’s unbeaten star had ended but they were still going strong on the pitch. They were determined to bounce back and managed to beat Santos Laguna 2-1.
The win was followed by another when they traveled to face Club Leon. Daniel Álvarez scored in the final seconds of normal time to seal the win against 10-men and collect all three points.
Toluca were then held to 1-1 draws by Juarez and Puebla. The two games saw Toluca struggle to break their opponents down despite having enough shots at goal.
Club Tijuana were looking to make the most of their chance and hand Toluca their second loss of the season. Their plan was off to a good start as Edgar López helped the away side take the lead in the 24th minute.
However, Carlos Gonzalez equalized before half-time and Jean Meneses turned things around with a goal in the early stages of the second half. Camilo Sanvezzosealed the win from the spot in the 96th minute.
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|Cruz Azul vs Toluca
|Sunday, August 14 at 6.00 pm 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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