With the ongoing FIFA date most teams that decided to play have given back-up and bench players an opportunity to get some game time. This was no different in week 9 action of the Apertura 2013 of La Liga MX.
In the final game of the weekend, Cruz Azul traveled to Toluca to take on the red devils at the Nemesio Diez stadium. Absent from the cementeros line-up was goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona who played with the Mexican national team on Friday. In his spot, 22 year-old Guillermo Allison was tasked to defend the net in his first division debut.
Things did not look good for Allison who in the first 17 seconds of play saw himself and his team down 1-0 against the chorizeros at the “Bombonera.” Juan Carlos Cacho had surprised the cementeros early and Cruz Azul fans present looked surprised too early in the game.
Despite the early goal Toluca could not get control of their field and Cruz Azul began a comeback that began with the take-over of the pitch. Furthermore, Allison, a rookie goalkeeper, had several interventions to save the Mexico City squad’s net. After 45 minutes the game went to break with Toluca leading, but Cruz Azul demonstrating a better game on the field.
The game resumed with the maquina pushing to get the equalizer. Their pressure paid off in the 52nd minute with a rocket from Argentine Mariano Pavone. He caught the ball outside the area and hammered it past the keeper to close the gap 1-1.
Alejandro Castro put Cruz Azul ahead in the 71st minute with a similar shot. The maquina cementera had turned the game around and led 2-1.
However, Jose Saturnino Cardozo’s squad would not go down easy. They were at their stadium, at their elevation and they did not want to continue to be dominated by the Azulinos who have not lost at the “Bombonera” in three and a half years. The chorizeros applied pressure in the final 10 minutes of play.
Allison and the Cruz Azul defense were on mark stopping anything that the Toluca players threw at them. Time seemed to slow down as Toluca moved their lines forward looking to close the gap. Guillermo Vasquez decided to bring on his new player, Cameroonian Achille Emana to move the ball up. The African player had a good opportunity to increase the lead, but the altitude may have overtaken him as he shot a roller to the keeper.
The referee announced three minutes of compensation time as the red devils applied pressure at the inferno. With seconds left, Castro took down Paraguayan Edgar Benitez inches into the penalty area. The referee pointed to the spot and it looked like Toluca would rescue a point. Cacho was given the task of converting the penalty. He fired to Allison’s right. The rookie keeper dove and punched the ball away. The referee blew the whistle calling the end of the game.
Allison had a dreamed debut with his squad. Cruz Azul reached 16 points and moved into the 4th position in the league table. The maquina cementera will host Tigres UANL in their next game. Toluca falls to 7th place and will visit Puebla FC in week 10.