Strong first half lifts Cruz Azul over Forge
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Juan Escobar #24 celebrates with Cruz Azul teammate Luis Abram after scoring against Forge FC in the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League round of 16 second leg match on February 24, 2022, at Estadio Azteca.

Strong first half lifts Cruz Azul over Forge

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CIUDAD DE MEXICO A three-goal first half lifted Liga MX giants Cruz Azul to a 3-1 victory over Forge FC of Canada in the second leg of their 2022 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 series on Thursday night at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

With the night’s result, Cruz Azul captured a 4-1 win on aggregate and a date in the quarterfinals with CF Montreal.

Cruz Azul had a dream start and barely four minutes had elapsed when they scored their first goal, as first leg goalscorer Romulo Otero played in a free kick that met the stabbing foot of Angel Romero for a 1-0 lead.

Forge looked to get back into it, but Cruz Azul had other ideas and a rocket off the right foot of Rafael Baca in the 21’ glanced off the fingertips of Forge GK Triston Henry and into net to make it 2-0 to La Maquina.

Forge weren’t about to throw in the towel, though, and a right-footed strike from David Choiniere in the 26’ cut the gap to 2-1 and gave Forge their first ever SCCL goal.

The home side manage to wrestle back the momentum, however, in the 44’ with Juan Escobar steering home a header to restore Cruz Azul’s two-goal advantage at 3-1.

Cruz Azul remained in control during the second half as they probed for a fourth score, but Forge almost pulled a goal back in the 70’ through Emery Welshman, but the Guyana international could not take advantage of a misplayed clearance.

In the end though, Cruz Azul’s three first half goals held up, as the six-time Concacaf champions punched their SCCL quarterfinal ticket for the third straight season.

 

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