Monarcas Morelia hosted Mexico City’s Cruz Azul at the Morelos stadium Friday to kick-off week one of the Clausura 2013 of La Liga MX. Javier “chuletita” Orozco was the player of the match scoring a double for Cruz Azul. The game concluded with a 3-3 draw.
Morelia had a good first half controlling the game for most of the 45 minutes. The maquina cementera recovered in the second half and was close to claiming victory. The game was highly contested and the visiting squad ended the match a man-down.
Monarcas began their home opening game with a quick goal. In less than two minutes the purepechas took control of the pitch before Cruz Azul could get warmed up. Ecuadorian Jefferson Montero received a cross pass in the area to beat goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona. Montero buried the ball in the back of the net to give the locals the 1-0 lead.
Morelia took control of the field dominating a Cruz Azul team that kept giving up spaces in the midfield allowing the locals to make attacks.
The Azulinos were able to close the gap on a counterstrike. Javier Aquino ran the ball in on the near side of the field and fired. Goalkeeper Federico Vilar dove and tapped the ball away but it landed in front of Orozco who quickly put the it into the open net for the 1-1 in the 25th minute.
Cruz Azul appeared to be coming back to life when Alejandro Vela took the ball all the way into the penalty area. However, the defense cleared it stopping the danger.
Three minutes later, Carlos Morales took a rebound from a Cruz Azul defender on a counter run. He took the ball to the small area and came face-to-face with Corona. Instead of firing against the keeper he crossed to Hector Mancilla who was already on the run. The Chilean shot into an open net for the 2-1 lead.
Cruz Azul did not give up and continued to fight for the ball. Both teams demonstrated heart and passion on the field trying to take advantage of every opportunity that arose.
With two minutes left in the first half Argentine Christian Gimenez was taken down 25 yards out on the top part of the field. The referee awarded a free kick. Gimenez took the shot sending the ball around the two-man barrier. The ball entered the area unchallenged and took a bounce before Colombian Luis Perea headed it low to Vilar’s left who dove but could not stop the ball from entering the net for the 2-2.
In the 58th minute Orozco scored again. Vilar came off his line to punch the ball away. Gerardo Torrado recovered the ball just outside the half moon and shot on first touch. The ball found Orozco who changed its trajectory with his chest sending it to the open net for the 3-2.
Vela committed a penalty in the 73rd when he hit Enrique Perez from behind inside the area. The striker had already earned a yellow card but was forgiven for actions. The referee pointed to the spot awarding the kick. Rodrigo Salinas converted the goal firing to Corona’s left who dove but could not stop the ball from entering his net. The game was now 3-3. Salinas won himself an unnecessary yellow card for removing his shirt after the play in his celebration.
Ecuadorian Joao Rojas was close to giving Monarcas the lead in the 83rd minute when he fired to Corona's left who dove to send the ball to corner keeping the scoreboard motionless.
In the 89th minute the referee had enough of Vela's unnecessary roughness. He sent the striker off with a direct red card after he kicked Salinas in knee. The booking was straight red despite Vela’s earlier yellow card.
Cruz Azul earns a valuable away point to kick off the new season.