Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cruz Azul - Sporting KC _ CONCACAF Champions League Running Blog

Ok, here we go, folks. I'm missing Jeopardy for this, so it had better be good. 
I have to confess that before I had to go journalistically objective, Cruz Azul was my favorite team in Mexico growing up. I mean, Cle Kooiman! Who wouldn't love that squad? He was a local hero.

 Sporting Kansas City: Kronberg, Ellis, Opara, Besler, Gardner, Rosell, Nagamura, Feilhaber, Zusi, Bieler y Peterson.
Cruz Azul: Corona, Flores, Domínguez, Perea, Nápoles, Torrado, Giménez, Fabián, Formica, Rojas y Pavone.

1 - They kick off! Both teams are in blue, which is a little confusing.
2 - OH, dude! GOAL! Cruz Azul scored - faster than the Xolos against the Galaxy? Close. 1-0 Cruz Azul (1-1)

3 - Pavone was in the midst of a little scrum of players at the top of the box and he just fired out. Kronberg reacted too late.
4 - Announcers are still reacting to the speed of the goal. KC with an attack into the box.
5 - Corona comes out for the ball - secures it.
6 - Toluca and SJ - may go to penalties, the announcers say. They sound like they want to watch that game.
8 - Peterson on a one v one with Corona - who blocks the shot! Nice. A long pass sprang Peterson past the defense of Cruz Azul.
10 - Despite the fact that Pavone just scored, the announcers say Marco Fabian is the key to Cruz Azul winning this game. They stroke his recent run of form with fondness.
11- There is seriously a lot of blue moving around my screen. I don't get Galavision in HiDef and never have I regretted that more than now. Ball is bouncing in the KC box, and they are having trouble clearing, Fabian shoots - misses. They still think he's great, though. It was a pretty close shot.
13 - Cruz Azul staff are wearing suits and blue ties. Light and dark blue. Even the coaches confuse me now, although Tena doesn't resemble Vermes.
15 - Ok, they gave up that terribly early goal, but KC seem to have settled down now.
16 - The problem with the light blue shirts that KC are wearing is that one whole side is actually darker blue, which makes them look like Cruz Azul players on that one side.
17 - Corner Kick for Cruz Azul. It's cleared before a shot happens. CA attack again, nearly get the ball in to Pavone.
18 - CA get another corner, which is cleared again.
19 - Ref calls a foul just as Pavone gets a good pass off - crowd boos - should have been advantage, because Fabian was bearing down on goal.
21 - CA on the atttack again, deep in KC land. Throw in by Flores, leads to an outside shot by Napoles that is way off and a terrible idea.
22 - Napoles getting very physical with Besler.
24 - Pavone again! A perfect pass from Chaco Gimenez springs Fabian again, and he is alone on goal, but Kronberg makes the save. Sadly, his defenders let him down and fail to clear the ball - Pavone cleans the rebound into the goal. Kronberg, on the ground, had no chance. 2-0 (2-1) Cruz Azul winning.
26 - Zuniga in the box with a header - Kronberg has it - but deep on the goal line. I mean, he was standing on the line. Good thing he kept the ball in front of him.
28 - SJ - Toluca going to penalties. Good stuff. FK here, but Zusi hits it too far for Opara to reach.
30 - My friend tells the story of hearing her boyfriend screaming "Zusi! Zusi!" and thinking he was yelling about some girl. Turns out Zusi had just scored the USA goal that put Mexico in the World Cup playoff.
31 - Cruz Azul are still attacking, not coasting. If KC score, then they win via away goal. So for insurance, one more goal is needed.
32 - Josh Gardner hurt his knee and is out of the match. Good guy, Josh. Remember him from his Galaxy years.
34 - Fabian puts the ball back in the mix - Kronberg catches.
35 - Goonies never say die - Busch saves Toluca's first.
36 - Feilhaber is now holding his ankle. Nah, he's fine.
37 - Wondo's PK saved, Rios makes, Gordo makes it, Velazquez makes it. Cronin makes it.
39 - CA still dominating the match. Outside shot from Chaco. Way off. not good, Chacito.
40 - Ponce makes, Shuler makes. Talavera is shooting! He makes, Koval makes, Tiago makes, Shea Salinas misses! Off the crossbar. San Jose is out.
43- Gardner is def out of the game, too. He tried to go on, but his injury got worse and he limps off and Jerome comes in. GOAL! The hopes of all MLS hang on Kansas City right now and they respond. Benny F. with a shot from just outside the box! 2-1 - (2-2) KC are winning by virtue of the away goal.
45 - CA fighting to score a goal - Kevin Ellis sees yellow for a tackle.
Freekick but the ref blows his whistle and argues with Feilhaber and Chaco for a bit about it. Ooooh, the crowd wanted a penalty on that play. Jerome and Fabian both went up for the ball and bumped hard, Fabian went down in a heap - with Jerome's foot near his hip. Announcers, or at least one, wanted a PK there bad. but the ref waved it off.

Halftime. KC has to survive another half, or they're out of the CCL, like every other MLS team. But Cruz Azul won't go down easy to the MLS champions. They're the top team in Liga MX right now for a reason. Fabian can hurt them, and Pavone already has twice. They have other weapons, too.

46- Cruz Azul has dominated the game, but it doesn't matter, Benny's goal was earned and puts KC, for all practical purposes, ahead.
47 - Peterson on the attack, but the CA defense does well to take the ball away.
48 - Vermes got the memo that darker blue is slimming. He totally looks like a former player in his warmups. He's also very animated,, looking like he wants to run out there right now for his team.
49 - Jerome gets a yellow. Freekick to KC coming up. CLeared. Re-entry.
51- Cleared again - Fabian skins his marker and cuts the ball back into the box - Formica shoots, way over.
53 - KC trying to keep the game in midfield, instead of giving up more chances to CA.
54 - Zusi jogs over for a corner. CA clear it.
55 - Marco Pavone! AGAIN! GOAL 3-1 - CA ahead again. Napoles with the cross - Opara slips, or falls, or something, but the ball gets through to Pavone, who redirects near post.
56- Did Pavone foul Opara before the ball? Announcers debate.
57 - Either way, the goal counts, and CA nearly get another. Chaco sends in a dangerous incisive pass.
58 - Announcer thinks Pavone did make contact with Opara, and did cause him to fall, but that is was accidental, not an intentional foul. Whatever, dude.
60 - Ellis stops a ball with his body - the announcers debate handball and penalty chance.
61 - Vermes looks like he wants to vomit.
62 - Announcers wax nostalgic over how MLS gets dominated by Liga MX historically - on cue, KC get the ball into CA territory, and announcers suddenly have to snap back into the game.
63 - Fabian is just having fun now dribbling fancy.
64 - Corona catches a weak KC cross.
65 - FK for KC, nothing dangerous happens.
66 - GOAL! Cruz Azul again. THis time, it wasn't Pavone. Fabian again skins his defender (Jerome), sends the ball inside to Pavone, who fires a shot that gets blocked, but rebounds to Formica, who doesn't miss. Kronberg was scrambling, didn't have a chance. 4 -1 Cruz Azul.
67 - The last chance for MLS is now getting beaten worse than any MLS team in the CCL.
68 - The crowd celebrates by doing the wave.
70 - Chaco! Goal! Old dude goes in one v one with Kronberg, off a Formica flick and fires an excellent shot off the post and into the goal. 5-1. Damn. DAMN.
71 - True blue making baby blue look truly baby.
72 - Sorry about that - it seemed like a good idea a minute ago. Momentary madness.
73 - Announcers analyzing match when 20 minutes still left. They are disappointed in Zusi's lack of impact.
75 - Announcers breaking down the matchups ahead for Mexican teams.
77 - I think they've stopped watching this game.
79 - Kronberg comes out to  duel with a CA player for the ball. Gets it in the end.
80 - Corona is stretching out one of his teammates - sudden cramp, I guess. It's Napoles, and he ends up leaving the match. Stringel in for him.
82 - Zusi with a try from outside. high by quite a bit.
83 - Pavone leaves the match to a standing ovation. Valadez on for him.
84 - Announcers note how unhappy Vermes looks, as well as how ineffective KC has been in the second half.
85 - Announcers do commend two KC players, Nagamura and Feilhaber. The two Brazilians, basically.
87 - Fabian goes off to roars. Pablo Barrera on for him. Like I said, Cruz Azul is loaded. Valadez shoots! Kronberg saves.
88 - I think one hardy reader has hung in for the whole CCL blog. Congrats, you're a loyal fan. This isn't easy to watch. - ooh, Gerardo Torrado is down and people are pushing.
89 - Uri tries to say something to him and Torrado pushes his face. Eeck. Uri ignores it, keeps trying to say something. In English? Who knows. On the replay, Torrado is shown going down and Uri gets in his face about it.
90 - A shot of Besler looking bewildered and weary - and the final whistle blows. It's all over.
Really, for all MLS teams. It's all over. All the Mexican teams march on to the semis.
That's all folks!

No comments: