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Club America Best Cruz Azul in the Clasico Joven: Three Key Takeaways

Club America Beats Cruz Azul at Estadio Azteca

In the fiercely contested Clasico Joven, Club America was victorious over Cruz Azul. Besting the league leaders by a scoreline of 1-0 that reflects little to the full story. This victory was a testament to the team’s resilience and tactical ingenuity. The match offered plenty of opportunities and challenges for Las Aguilas from which we look at three key takeaways. The win against Cruz Azul acts as a crucial morale booster for America. Given the congested fixture list that lies ahead, a victory in a Clasico always lifts the spirit. Despite showing lethal intent in front of goal, America’s potential higher victory was tainted by offside calls. Finally, André Jardine’s strategic masterclass helped exploit Cruz Azul’s high defensive line through calculated counter-attacks.

Club America Beat Cruz Azul in the Clasico Joven: Three Key Takeaways

Clinical When It Counted, Frustration Remains

The running narrative for this Club America side this season has been their lack of finishing in front of goal. Yet this game was different as the team was creating chances and putting them away, just with one caveat. America’s attacking intent was clear from the start, but their shortsightedness in front of goal was their undoing. Time and again, promising moves ended with the offside flag raised, a source of constant frustration. Julián Quiñones’ perfect run and composed finish broke the deadlock early on in the game and despite being up early America did not hold back. Chance after chance they broke Cruz Azul’s line and scored again and again but had each goal called back for offside. Despite four disallowed goals, their persistence demonstrated that this team is still dangerous when opportunities are created and they can be clinical.

Jardine’s Tactical Astuteness

André Jardine’s strategy was the key to victory. Recognizing Cruz Azul’s reliance on possession and the high line, Club America adopted a disciplined, counter-attacking approach. From the start of the match, America attacked Cruz Azul and effectively threw their defense off-balance. When America defended they absorbed pressure, inviting Cruz Azul forward and then ruthlessly exploited the space left behind. Early on in the game, America kept a high press that forced Cruz Azul into dividing the ball. Even though America played opposite to how they’re used to playing, sitting back and letting Cruz Azul run, meant America players didn’t have as much of wear and tear as their counter opposites. While the final score line reflected only one goal, this tactical shift laid the foundation for the night’s success.

Winning Momentum Amidst Challenges

While this win is a positive step, Club America can’t afford complacency. The inability to convert multiple chances remains a concern, especially with tough fixtures against Tigres and Atlas in the league just around the corner. But it was important for the team to inject much-needed confidence into the squad. The victory in the Clásico Joven helps secure points to climb the standings and the team is only one point behind Cruz Azul and Pachuca. Jardine is slowly trying to change the tide for his team amidst the storm of games ahead in the league and Concacaf Champions Cup. He will feel that players continue to refine their form and gain traction ahead of what’s to come.

Read More: Club America Makes History Going Public on the Stock Market

Last Word

The win against Cruz Azul is a testament to Club America’s resilience, strategic planning, and execution on the big stage. America showed that even though they aren’t in their best moment they’re capable of still pulling out results against tough oppositions. With Cruz Azul being one of the many big test for America coming up in the coming weeks it was important for Las Aguilas to get a win. This means that now America has gone five straight league games against their rivals unbeaten.

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports, of an Estadio Azteca Headshot, on April 29, 2023.


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