It took the entire time and compensation for Cruz Azul to break through the Puebla FC defenses to keep their perfect pace through the Clausura 2014. Marco Fabian found the back of the net in the final seconds of compensation time at the Azul Stadium to give the Azulinos a 1-0 victory over the camoteros in Saturday’s action of La Liga MX.
Cruz Azul was superior on the pitch against a Puebla team that gave up spaces and allowed the cementeros to make runs with ease. But the Azulinos had no luck in the first 45 minutes with the ball going wide or over the cross bar with no real danger to the camoteros' net.
Matias Alustiza broke the net in the initial minutes of the game, but the Argentine had an arm inches into the offside position. The linesman raised the flag and the goal was annulled. Alustiza had a second opportunity in the final minutes of the half, but goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona was able to prevent the ball from entering his net. This was the closest either team came to actually scoring in the first 45 minutes.
Argentine Mariano Pavone also broke the net, but for la maquina. On a set-piece Pavone jumped and headed the ball past goalkeeper Jorge Villalpando. However, he was clearly offside and that goal was erased from the board.
Cruz Azul maintained majority possession of the ball in the remainder of the half, but could not sentence the game in the final attack. The game went to break with the 0-0.
The second half saw the visitors pushing the home-side against the wall. U.S. international DaMarcus Beasley came on as a substitute and immediately made a difference on the wing. The former Dutch league PSV Eindhoven midfielder was close to putting the ball in the net less than two minutes after he stepped on to the field.
Cruz Azul went from the dominant team to falling back and appearing lazy on the pitch. This gave Puebla the initiative and the camoteros did not miss on the opportunity to make runs on Corona’s net. But La Franja could not seal the deal. With players on attack, Puebla left spaces open for the cementeros.
Suddenly the home-side came to life and the Azulinos went back to attack. But again, like early in the game, they could not concrete the plays.
When it looked like Cruz Azul would end with a draw and tie the 2005 team’s best start, Marco Fabian appeared on the scene. Fabian received a pass with his back to the net and goalkeeper. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist took a few steps forward, still with his back to the net, and chipped the ball. Villalpando was too far off his line and all he could do was run in an attempt to stop the ball from entering his far top corner. Cruz Azul earned a hard-fought victory that keeps them as the absolute leader in La Liga MX.