Photo: Getty Images
By Kyle McCarthy
Cruz Azul claimed a 1-0 victory over bitter rivals Club América in the first leg of the Liguilla final on Thursday night, but the modest margin between the teams leaves both sides with a chance to lift the trophy.
Both sides failed to hit their best in a bland affair hindered by the rainy and slippery conditions at Estadio Azul and tempered by the looming second leg at Estadio Azteca on Sunday night.
América manager Miguel Herrera played his part in removing some of the excitement by naming a conservative side (the usual 5-3-2 setup with the now customary pair of holding midfielders) and telling his players to keep the match as narrow as possible inside their own half. The approach worked for the most part with in-form winger Pablo Barrera only a fleeting influence on the proceedings.