Liga MX Clausura First Leg Final: Cruz Azul 1-1 Club América

Both teams left to rue big chances after a cagey first leg at the Estadio Ciudad de los Deportes.
Club America v Cruz Azul
Club America v Cruz Azul / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

Mexico City was left at a standstill for a few hours on Thursday night as two of its biggest clubs fought in a closely contested Clausura final first leg.

With all eyes on Cruz Azul's home ground, they got off to a dream start when referee Fernando Gómez pointed to the spot within the first ten minutes. Uriel Atuna caught onto a poorly weighted and sloppy back pass from Israel Reyes. Attempting to go around the goalkeeper, Luis Malagón pulled out a leg to bring the forward to the ground, giving the referee no choice but to award Azul with a spot kick.

Chasing their tenth Liga MX title, Atuna put Los Azules on the road to success after converting the resulting penalty. Calmly placing the ball to Malagón's left, the goalkeeper was wrongfooted as Azul took the lead.

Cruz Azul vs. Club América ends in 1-1 tie

The sea of blue in the stands went berserk in disbelief at their perfect start to the game, and fireworks were set off to begin the celebrations of the opening goal of the tie.

Cruz Azul's early celebrations were short-lived as Las Águilas responded within six minutes. Henry Martin found himself running in on goal after some good work down the left. In a good shooting position, Martin unselfishly slotted the ball into the path of Julián Quiñones, who could not miss, smashing his shot into the roof of the net.

Silencing the Azul fans, the América forward put his finger to his lips to add fuel to the rivalry between these two Mexico City sides.

The first half continued in a similar, feisty pattern. Dominated by the home side, Malagón was forced into a number of good saves as the scoreline remained deadlocked going into the break.

Whilst the first half belonged to Cruz Azul, the second was dominated by América. The biggest chance of the game came just moments after the restart. Six yards from goal, Martin was in on goal but his shot on goal was saved by Kevin Mier, making a superb diving save to his right. The rebound from Quiñones was blocked off the line by Azul defender Willer Ditta to keep the scoreline at 1-1.

Quiñones would have a second great opportunity of the half when he beat the offside trap to meet an excellently weighted through ball from Reyes. In on goal once more, he passed the ball around the onrushing Mier but was beaten to the second ball by Diatta, who once again cleared the ball off the line for Azul.

Made to rue those missed chances, the referee blew an end to the first 90 minutes with the scoreline tied. The two sides will meet again on Sunday 26th May, at 19:00 CST at the Estadio Azteca where one of these two teams will be crowned Champions of Mexico.