Liga MX: Matosas makes a difference, Siboldi doesn’t

Cruz Azul's Roberto Siboldi shouts at his team during the match against Veracruz, but to little avail. (Photo by VICTOR CRUZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Cruz Azul's Roberto Siboldi shouts at his team during the match against Veracruz, but to little avail. (Photo by VICTOR CRUZ/AFP/Getty Images) /
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Liga MX Matosas wins, Siboldi doesn't
Cruz Azul looked lethargic and out of sorts in their first game under new coach Robert Dante Siboldi. (Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

Siboldi comes up short in Cruz Azul debut

While the Tigres played at Tijuana in a far more entertaining match at the same time, morbid curiosity kept me tuned into this dreadful game. Cruz Azul staged a messy divorce from Pedro Caixinha that had all the makings of a soap opera before selecting Siboldi, disappointing fans who had hoped for Antonio Mohamed. The new Cementeros coach had six days to prepare for this match against the worst team in Liga MX and he did not impress.

Liga MX Matosas si, Siboldi no
Cruz Azul did little productive against Veracruz, becoming the first team in 20 Liga MX matches to NOT score against the Tiburones. (Photo by VICTOR CRUZ/AFP/Getty Images) /

Cruz Azul’s starting line-up can (and will) be questioned and the team played listlessly, rarely threatening Sebastián Jurado’s goal. The Cementeros had 61% possession yet only managed four shots on goal. There was little creativity, movement was sporadic and disconnected, and passing was erratic and tentative. Only forward Jonathan Rodríguez appeared to have energy for Cruz Azul in the first half.

Jurado was forced to make a nice save on a Yoshimar Yotún shot in minute 35, but there was little positive for Siboldi to talk about at the break even though Veracruz was obviously playing not to lose.

In the second half, Veracruz seemed to have the clearer ideas and found some space in the offensive third. Cruz Azul keeper made two brilliant saves before the hour mark, but the Tiburones were ruled offside on both occasions. Corona played the hero again in minute 86, tipping a free kick from Angel Reyna over the crossbar.

Cruz Azul ownership will not be happy with this result and Siboldi will be under pressure not only to deliver results, but to get a significantly better performance. The Uruguayan coach extended his Liga MX winless streak to 15 games. Prior to taking over the Cruz Azul job, Siboldi was winless in 14 games in charge at Veracruz and he has never won at Luis “Pirata” de la Fuente Stadium, not even as coach of Santos Laguna with whom he won a Liga MX title in the Clausura 2018.

Despite not snapping their winless streak, the Tiburones have something to cheer about. It was the first time in 20 Liga MX matches that Veracruz did not concede a goal.