SEATTLE - OCTOBER 12: Head coach Jose Luis Real of Chivas de Guadalajara gestures during the game against the Seattle Sounders FC on October 12, 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Sounders defeated Chivas de Guadalajara 3-1. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Cruz Azul Vs. Chivas Guadalajara: Ten Man Cruz Azul Gut Out Draw

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Cruz Azul Vs. Chivas: 1-1 Full Time, Ten Man Blue Machine Fights For Draw

Cruz Azul had a man sent off in the first half, gave up a goal shortly after that red card, and were generally the inferior side for all 90 minutes. Apparently, Emmanuel Villa didn't get the memo, and as a result, the Blue Machine have earned a comeback 1-1 draw with ten men against Chivas Guadalajara, who will be more worried about the fortunes of other teams than their own play going into tonight's late fixtures.

In the 81st minute of the game, Javier Aquino played a great through ball into the box for Emmanuel Villa, who calmly hit an impressive low finish past Luis Michel with his first touch, securing the draw for his team. As a result, neither Chivas or Cruz Azul is safe as far as Liguilla places go, and both will be forced to watch Monterrey and Santos tonight, hoping for dropped points. Thanks to the inability of both Chivas and Cruz Azul to secure all three points, the Liguilla race is wide open.


Cruz Azul Vs. Chivas Guadalajara: Goats Lead By A Goal And A Man

It just gets worse and worse for Cruz Azul. Once in a race for the top spot in the entire league with UNAM Pumas in Group 3, Cruz Azul are continuing their downward spiral towards missing Liguilla, though in this case, the referee is at least partially to blame. Still, they were the inferior team before they (possibly unfairly) went down a man, and they really have no one to blame but themselves for the massive hole that they find themselves in.

In the 40th minute, Horacio Cervantes was sent off for a last man challenge on Erick Torres. His "challenge" was grabbing the arm of Torres, and Cubo went down very easily. While Cervantes probably did commit a foul, Torres's reaction (and the referee's) was pretty unacceptable. It doesn't matter now, though. Cruz Azul will have to finish the match with 10 men.

Chivas found the goal to go 1-0 up in the 45th minute, and it was a long range stunner from - guess who?!? - Marco Fabian. He's making a habit of scoring absolute blinders and he's done it again, this time scoring a volley from 20 yards out following a free kick.

Cruz Azul were getting seriously outplayed before the red card, so there's probably no way back from their one goal deficit. At this point, they're on damage control while seriously hoping that Santos and Monterrey fail to get maximum points later tonight.


Cruz Azul Vs. Chivas Guadalajara: Lineups

Cruz Azul have suffered some injury blows in recent weeks, and they've seen one boost and one setback ahead of their game against Chivas Guadalajara. Captain and midfield general Gerardo Torrado makes a start, while Hugo Drougett is still unavailable for selection. Chivas have a setback of their own, as they are without defender Johnny Magallon.

Cruz Azul have been playing with one central striker supported by Christian 'Chaco' Gimenez for most of the season, but today they have shifted back to the 4-4-2 they employed for most of last year, with Gimenez starting as a winger who will likely cut inside. Chivas appear to be matching them with a 4-4-2 of their own. Here are the lineups.

Cruz Azul lineup (4-4-2): Corona; Pinto, Cervantes, Ponce, Chavez; Villaluz, Palau, Torrado, Gimenez; Villa, Orozco

Chivas Guadalajara lineup (4-4-2): Michel; Esparza, Saucedo, Ponce, Araujo; Baez, Alvarez, Fabian, Medina; Arellano, Torres

The match can be seen on Azteca America in the United States. For more on Mexican football, check out SB Nation's Mexican football blog, FMF State of Mind.


Cruz Azul Vs. Chivas Guadalajara: Liguilla Wildcard Spot On The Line

With a Liguilla spot on the line, the Mexican Primera matchup between Cruz Azul and Chivas Guadalajara is a massive one this Saturday night. Both teams are on the very fringes of Liguilla, and a loss would be seriously crippling for either team. One might think that sets up for a gentleman's draw, but with all of Monterrey, Santos, and the entirety of Group 2 lingering closely behind, neither team can afford to drop points.

Chivas will be without defender Jonny Magallon, while captain and midfield general Gerardo Torrado is questionable for Cruz Azul. Without him in the lineup, the Blue Machine were terrible last week. If Cruz Azul are going to make Liguilla, both Gonzalo Pineda and Marcelo Palau need to step up considerably. Left winger Hugo Drougett is also questionable. For Chivas, the key man is almost unquestionably Erick "Cubo" Torres, their superstar teenage striker.

Chivas haven't played well against Cruz Azul in recent tournaments, but as Tom Marshall from SB Nation's Mexican football blog FMF State of Mind points out, the conditions seem ripe for a change in fortunes.

Chivas Guadalajara haven't won against Cruz Azul in six games and the "Celestes" (Cruz Azul) home form has been the main why they are still in play-off contention. The Mexico City team go into the game as slight favorites.

As a caveat though, Cruz Azul have been inconsistent all season. Their last two results tell the wider story of their season. On April 13, Cruz Azul thrashed champions Monterrey 3-0 at home but three days later lost on the road 2-0 to lowly Puebla.

We'll have to see tonight. The game kicks off at 6 pm ET, 5 pm local time.

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