LIGA MX

Cruz Azul reach glory and end 24-year championship drought

Cruz Azul defeated Santos Laguna 2-1 on aggregate to win the 2021 Guardianes tournament title for the first time since 1997.

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Cruz Azul reach glory and end 24-year championship drought
RODRIGO ARANGUA AFP

The wait is over for Cruz Azul fans, because on Sunday they defeated Santos Laguna in the final 2-1 on aggregate to win the 2021 Guardianes tournament title. The team from the capital of Mexico ended their almost 24-year championship drought and obtained their ninth league title in franchise history.

Jonathan Rodríguez showed up on the big stage

Santos Laguna went ahead in the 37th minute thanks to Diego Valdés who shot a cannon with his left foot to find the back of the net, beating goalkeeper Jesús Corona. With that goal the game was tied 1-1 on aggregate, since Cruz Azul won the first-leg 1-0 at the TSM Corona.

At this point, the ghosts of the past started haunting the ‘Machine’, who had been runners-up 11 times since their last league win in 1997.

But Juan Reynoso's side would not surrender and in the second half they went in search of the equalizer that would give them the victory. First midfielder Luis Romo came close to leveling the game with a back heel shot from inside the box, but goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo was able to block the attempt.

Finally in the 50th minute of the game Yoshimar Yotún, who had come on as a substitute earlier, assisted Jonathan Rodríguez following a fast break away attack and the golden boot winner beat Acevedo to score the goal that gave Cruz Azul the title.

With this accomplishment Juan Reynoso became the first to win the title for Cruz Azul as both a player and a coach. “I am grateful for entering the history of this club. I have a title as a player and now as a coach and that’s no small thing,” he said after the game.