Atlas snapped a three-game winless streak with a 2-1 win over Cruz Azul, which marks their first home victory against La Máquina since 2008. It didn’t come easily, however, particularly after Atlas was reduced to 10 men in the 80th minute.
At first everything seemed to be going perfectly for the home team; Atlas opened the scoring just 6 minutes into the game, when Arturo González headed home a cross from Maikon Leite. However, after the goal, Atlas showed very little going forward for the rest of the half, and in fact Cruz Azul dominated.
Despite that dominance, La Máquina couldn’t find an equalizer. Their two best chances of the half came though “Chaco” Giménez, whose shot went wide, and Mauro Formica, who forced a good save from Federico Vilar. Atlas nearly made it 2-0 just before the end of the half, but Arturo González’s powerful shot hit the crossbar.
Cruz Azul finally found their goal in the second half, when Julio César Domínguez got his head to a Rogelio Chávez free kick to make it 1-1 in the 54th minute.
Atlas wasn’t satisfied with the draw, though, and pushed forward in search of a go-ahead goal. Rodrigo Millar had a chance in the 73rd minute, but with an open goal in front of him the Chilean sent his shot wide. He would redeem himself in the 79th minute, when an attempted clearance from Emanuel Loeschbor fell right into his path. Without hesitation, Millar drove into the box and scored.
Unfortunately, he lost himself in the moment and took off his shirt to celebrate the go-ahead goal. Referee Óscar Macias had no choice but to give him a yellow card, and since he had already been cautioned in the 53rd minute, the red card came out as well.
Atlas did manage to hold on to the lead despite playing down a man, but it wasn’t easy and Cruz Azul will be left ruing their missed opportunities to equalize.
With the 2-1 win, Atlas reaches 18 points while Cruz Azul remains on nine.
Atlas: Federico Vilar, Enrique Pérez, Luis Venegas, Facundo Erpen, Edgar Castillo, Arturo González (Edy Brambila 76′), Rodrigo Millar, Aldo Leao, Juan Carlos Medina (Edson Rivera 76′), Maikon Leite, Luis Caballero (Martin Barragán 62′).
Cruz Azul: Guillermo Allison, Emanuel Loeschbor (Pablo Barrera 84′), Francisco Rodríguez, Julio César Domínguez, Rogelio Chávez, Joao Rojas, Gerardo Torrado (Mariano Pavone 46′), Christian Giménez, Marco Fabián (Alejandro Vela 71′), Hernán Bernardello, Mauro Formica.