Mexico's "curse of the
superleader" hit favourites Guadalajara in the first knockout
round of the Apertura championship when they were upset 2-1 on
aggregate by Queretaro on Saturday.
Cruz Azul were also favoured to beat Morelia but lost 2-1 at
home and 4-2 on aggregate, failing to exact revenge after the
same rivals eliminated them in the semi-finals of the Clausura
championship at the end of last season.
Guadalajara, who finished top of the standings in the
round-robin phase of the championship, were held 0-0 at their
Omnilife home and went out 2-1 on aggregate in Queretaro's first
appearance in the quarter-finals.
The team finishing top of the league table, supposedly an
advantage since their quarter-final opponents are the
eighth-placed side, has never managed to win the Apertura title
since the two-championship format was first played in the
Cruz Azul's coach Enrique Meza (pictured), whose side were Apertura
runners-up in 2009 in his first season in charge, said he had no
intention of quitting despite their wait for a title now
standing at 14 years.
"I'm not leaving, even though many [people] want me to go I
won't do it. I still have the dream of doing big things [here],"
Meza told reporters.
Morelia scored twice in five minutes early in the first half
to give Cruz Azul a mountain to climb.
Mexico striker Miguel Sabah put Morelia ahead in the 15th
minute after a one-two with midfielder Gerardo Lugo, who added
the second five minutes later with a shot from outside the box
that beat diving goalkeeper Jesus Corona.
The "Blue Machine" hit the bar in the 32nd minute and pulled
a goal back in the 35th when Alejandro Vela netted from Javier
Aquino's right cross but they had to play the last 20 minutes
without captain Gerardo Torrado.
The Mexico midfielder was sent
off for a second booking when he fouled Luis Sandoval.
The match in Guadalajara city was dominated by the Chivas
but the closest they came to scoring was a header by Mario de
Luna that hit the ground and rose to come back off the bar on
the stroke of half-time.
Goalkeeper Liborio Sanchez was the key player for Queretaro,
coached by former Paraguay striker Jose Saturnino Cardozo,
making a string of fine and often spectacular saves.
Bayern fans snap up 45,000 tickets to watch Champions League final live at Allianz Arena
When Sir Alex wakes up on Monday morning without team to manage, he will not be putting his feet up
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder announces he will be retiring at the end of the current season
Record goal-scorer signs a one-year contract extension with Europa League winners Chelsea
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010