Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

CONCACAF: Cruz Azul and Pachuca make Champions League final

Posted in North and Central American Football by peterbein on April 8, 2010
Cruz Azul

Cruz Azul have reached their seventh CONCACAF Champions League final

It was already known that there was going to be an all-Mexican final in the CONCACAF Champions League for the second consecutive year. The suspense of the last two weeks came in finding out which of the four Mexican semi-finalists would make it to the final of North and Central America’s top club competition. After this week’s matches the lucky teams fighting it out to be continental champions in the two-legged final will be Cruz Azul and Pachuca who disposed of Pumas UNAM and Toluca respectively.

Cruz Azul, who have won this competition a record five times in its previous guise of the CONCACAF Champions Cup, have reached the final again and will want to make up for last year’s disappointment where they lost 2-0 to Atlante CF. In the first leg of this year’s semi-final a Pablo Barrera goal was all that separated the teams as Pumas went on to have the advantage for the second leg, albeit a narrow one. In the return leg los Cementeros struck back by scoring late in the first half to level the aggregate score thanks to Cristian Riveros, who took advantage of some slack defending in the box from Pumas to convert from right in front of goal. The second half remained tight until the 74th minute when Horacio Cervantes headed home from a dangerous corner kick to give Cruz Azul a 2-0 lead on the night. The floodgates were well and truly opened for the home side three minutes later when they scored a third thanks to a beautifully struck free-kick from Adrián Cortés which ended up in the top left-hand corner of the net. Rogelio Chávez and Edgar Lugo completed the rout by scoring further goals in the last six minutes of the game to give Cruz Azul a 5-1 aggregate win and a place in their seventh final.

Pachuca are the other finalists having negotiated their way past Toluca CF in what proved to be a tough semi-final. Pachuca played the first leg in Toluca but it didn’t prove such a disadvantage when their on-loan striker Darío Cvitanich was able to get on the end of a Paul Aguilar cross and go around the Toluca keeper Alfredo Talavera to turn the ball home from an acute angle to give los Tuzos (The Gophers) the lead. The home side had to wait until the 78th minute for parity to be restored when Edgar Dueñas headed home from a corner and the first leg ended in a 1-1 draw. The second leg got off to the best possible start for Pachuca who took the lead after just six minutes of the game thanks to an Edy Brambila header from five yards out, getting on the end of a beautifully delivered cross from the left by Damian Manso. Los Diablos Rojos from Toluca had a great chance to equalize not long afterwards but a cross from Carlos Esquivel found an unmarked Hector Mancilla in the six yard box with a gaping goal at his mercy but, unfortunately for him, he spurned the chance hitting it with the outside of his right foot and sending it wide. Despite this Pachuca had the better chances throughout the game and although they failed to trouble the scoresheet any further it ultimately didn’t matter as they held out to secure a 2-1 aggregate win. They now have the chance to win their third continental title in four years and fourth overall.

2009-10 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL

1st Leg: Cruz Azul v Pachuca (21.04.10)

2nd Leg: Pachuca v Cruz Azul (28.04.10)

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