Cruz Azul fell short and couldn’t defeat Pumas for the second leg of the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, even if they played most of the second half with one player more after Arturo “Palermo” Ortíz was sent off for preventing a goal from Santiago Giménez.
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Although the game ended in a scoreless draw, Pumas got the ticket to the final thanks to the goal scored by Juan Ignacio Dinenno on the first leg, giving Los Universitarios access to the final of the CONCACAF Champions League since 2005, and the first one since the current format was established.
The elimination of La Máquina is already being catalogued as a failure, as the team was built to fight for the titles of both Liga MX and CCL, but now, the only way in which Los Cementeros will save the season is if they make it to the final of Clausura 2022.
Now that they can solely focus on Liga MX, they will be able to return to the top spots of Clausura 2022, as they have been irregular in the past month, something that has made them lost their spot to access directly to Liguilla, as they’re standing fifth, behind Atlas, Club Puebla, Tigres and CF Pachuca.
A sell-out is looking to leave after the failure
As if the elimination wasn’t enough, the day after the game, Julio César “Cata” Domínguez, who is unhappy in Cruz Azul given the lack of activity he’s had in Clausura 2022, sent a hint on social media to Pumas, a team he already has flirted with in the past.
“Cata” Domínguez celebrated the title that Pumas U-14 won, as his son is part of the team. Reports suggest that “Catita” wasn’t accepted in Cruz Azul academy, which is why Domínguez had to find him a different team to train with.
The 34-year-old center back has played for Cruz Azul his whole life, although he still isn’t considered one of La Máquina’s idols given that he’s often involved in different scandals. And now that he’s openly rooting for a different team, Cruz Azul is considering selling him at the end of the season.
How much Pumas will have to pay for him?
Even if he has one more year left on his contract, Pumas could acquire him at a reasonable price, as his age and irregular performances have lowered his market value in the past few years, which is why they could sign him for less than $1.5 million.