The fifteenth round of the Liga MX Apertura 2018 officially began on November 3rd. After their huge game against Club America, eyes were on Club Cruz Azul to see if they would either climb the leaderboard or once again fall within it. Club Cruz Azul officially tied with America with the end score ending at Club America with one goal and Club Cruz Azul as well. On November 4th, 5:35 PM Eastern Time Club Cruz Azul would once again face off with a league rival in Club Pumas.
This rivalry is usually treated as two very competitive teams facing off with one another, however, with the current shift in the league we notably see Club Cruz Azul, a notably well-established leader within the league, tower over the current team of Club Pumas. Before the game, Club Cruz Azul stood at 3rd place within the league score board with thirty points, being just one point away from Club America and Santos Laguna. Club Cruz Azul now has one of the Apertura 2018 leagues most defensive lines with allowing only twelve goals throughout fourteen games, however Club Pumas is anything but an average team within the league as well with being in fourth place within the league at twenty-six points. The game immediately began at a fast pace with Club Pumas immediately making an attempt at a goal.
However, Cruz Azul within the four-minute mark of the game, with midfielder Elias Hernandez, immediately retaliated with Hernandez obtaining the ball and attempting to score a goal on Pumas goal keeper Alfredo Saldivar who came out his post just in time to avoid any potential danger of a goal being scored. This pace went back and forth, until the fifteen-minute mark where Cruz Azul defender Adrian Aldrete shot a critical central kick that was received with a header by Cruz Azul midfielder Edgar Mendez, unfortunately for Pumas goalkeeper Alfredo Saldivar there was very little he could do to stop the play; Cruz Azul with the play scored the first goal of the game. Both teams thereafter were presented with many opportunities to score, however, no goals were scored. The last two minutes of the first half ended with Pumas forward Pablo Barrera complaining to the games official referee and receiving a yellow card at the forty-fourth minute of the first half. The second half of the game began with much pressure being on Pumas with the score beginning with Cruz Azul at one point and Pumas at zero. The pressure would only continue to build up for the club when within the eighty-minute mark of the game Cruz Azul forward Andres Renteria would score a goal; making the score Cruz Azul with two points and Pumas with zero.
Within the eighty-five-minute mark of the game, however, Pumas was presented with an opportunity with a corner kick. Pumas defender Luis Fernando Quintana received the corner kick with a header, officially scoring Pumas’s first official goal of the game. The pressure was now then shifted to Cruz Azul who wanted to secure the win overall. The intensity of the last couple minutes of the game was evident when Adrian Aldrete of Cruz Azul received a yellow card within eighty-eight-minute mark of the game. Shortly after, Aldrete would receive another yellow card which consequently led to an automatic red card on a questionable slide tackle call.
The game ultimately ended with Club Cruz Azul coming on top winning two to one against Club Pumas. The end game results saw Cruz Azul climb the leaderboard being the league’s leader now currently standing at thirty points. Club Pumas would then retain its position in fourth place with 26 points. The game poses multiple questions for both teams. Will Club Pumas do well enough to continue on to the soon to be top eight teams of the league? As well as, will Club Cruz Azul have a hard time in its next two critical games due to the loss of Adrian Aldrete, a defender for the team. The sixteenth round of the Liga MX Apertura 2018 is set to begin on November 10th, with Club Necaxa and Club Monterey facing off at 10:00 PM Eastern Time.