LIGA MX

Cruz Azul two games away from ending 24-year title drought

The ‘Machine’ will play their seventh final since 1997 after defeating CF Pahuca 1-0 on aggregate in the semi-finals of the 2021 Guardianes tournament.

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Cruz Azul two games away from ending 24-year title drought

Santiago Giménez gave Cruz Azul their ticket to the final of the 2021 Guardianes tournament of the Liga MX. The ‘Machine’ defeated CF Pachuca 1-0 on aggregate in the semi-finals and now they await one of Puebla and Santos Laguna, who will play on Sunday night.

24-year title drought

The last time Cruz Azul won the league title was in the winter of 1997 when they defeated Club León 2-1 on aggregate to lift the eighth league trophy in the franchise's history. Since then they have made it to seven finals and lost them all.

If Puebla defeat Santos Laguna, then for the first time in the history of Mexican football they will match up against Cruz Azul. But in order for that to happen, Puebla need to overcome a 3-0 deficit that they suffered in the first leg of the semi-finals.

But if Santos Laguna book their ticket to the final, they will match up again against Cruz Azul for the first time since 2008. That year the ‘Machine’ lost to 3-2 on aggregate to Santos, who obtained their sixth league title in franchise history.

After losing to Santos, Cruz Azul would make it to the final six months later, but lost that tournament on penalties to Toluca. Then in the 2009 Apertura tournament, Monterrey demolished the ‘Machine’ 6-4 on aggregate in the final.

The most memorable loss came against Club América in the 2013 Clausura tournament. That time the ‘Eagle’ scored a goal in stoppage time to force penalties and eventually won the title. Now they hope the seventh final is the one to end their almost 24-year drought and yield their ninth Liga MX title.