Toluca vs. Cruz Azul: Final score 3-0, Red Devils very much in control

Estadio Nemesio Díez in Toluca. - Wikimedia commons

Cruz Azul looked flat in Toluca on Saturday night and didn't do enough to make the tie interesting heading into the second leg.

It looks like Cruz Azul will be virtually bowing out of the Liguilla before they have a chance to set foot on their home turf. Toluca were brilliant in the first leg, recording a very comfortable 3-0 win. After Saturday night's result, it's tough to see them pulling off a comeback and firing their way into the semifinals.

Toluca turned a positive start into an opening goal in the 31st minute, with Oscar Rojas finishing off a nice move with an impressive turn and shot. Isaac Brizuela played him a pass at the top of the box, but he still had plenty of work to do. The Toluca wingback turned his defender to get himself free on goal, then placed a low shot to the back post, between the legs of another member of the Cruz Azul back line.

Six minutes later, Cruz Azul defender doubled Toluca's lead with an embarrassing own goal. He put up his leg to try to block a cross by Carlos Esquivel, which might have made its way to Pablo Velázquez had Pereira not intervened, but simply popped the ball up in the air, over the head of Jesus Corona and into the back of the net. When Cruz Azul made a tactical switch at halftime, he was the defender taken off for a midfielder.

Cruz Azul's best chance of the game came in the 61st minute, off a cross into substitute Mauro Formica. He directed a header on goal, but Alfredo Talavera was perfectly positioned to make a save. La Maquina never made Talavera do anything particularly difficult, while Toluca went on to add a third goal, scored by Francisco Gamboa with a header off a corner kick.

While there are still 90 minutes of soccer left to be played at Estadio Azul, it's tough to see Cruz Azul overturning this result. Their 21 goals on the season is second worst among teams that made Liguilla, so they're not exactly equipped to make a dramatic comeback.

Toluca: Talavera, Gamboa, Pinto, Da Silva, Rojas, Mathias, Rios, Velasco (Sinha 57'), Velazquez (Nava 82'), Esquivel (Benitez 75'), Brizuela

Goals: Rojas (31'), Pereira (OG 37'), Gamboa (79')

Cruz Azul: Corona, Dominguez, Perea, Pereira (Formica 45'), I.Castro, A. Castro, Torrado, Rojas, Gimenez, Emana (Napoles 45'), Pavone

Goals: None

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