Antuna strike gives advantage to Cruz Azul over CF Montreal
MIAMI, Florida – A first half strike from Uriel Antuna earned Mexico’s Cruz Azul a 1-0 victory against CF Montreal of Canada in the first leg of the 2022 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday night at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
Cruz Azul came storming out of the gates and Santiago Gimenez looked set to break the deadlock in the 9’, but saw his header saved by Montreal GK Sebastian Breza.
The breakthrough would come for Cruz Azul, though, when a ball over the top in the 20’ fell to the feet of Antuna, who fired in a shot to earn his side a 1-0 advantage.
Antuna continued to be in the middle of things and assumed the role of playmaker for Angel Romero by sending in a cross that was headed just over the crossbar on the half-hour mark.
Cruz Azul remained on the hunt in the second half and had various chances to double the lead, but a lack of finishing and some strong goalkeeping from Breza kept it a one-goal game going into the final 20 minutes.
Montreal enjoyed their best spell of the match in the final stages, pegging Cruz Azul back in their own half, but were never able to find a way past Cruz Azul GK Jesus Corona.
In the end, Cruz Azul nailed down the victory, but with the series still very wide open going into next week’s second leg in Canada.