Cruz Azul face difficult road ahead

After a disappointing opening loss to Necaxa on Wednesday night, Cruz Azul has a tough road ahead as it faces Guadalajara on Saturday night at Pizza Hut Park with Interliga hopes on the line.

Cruz Azul is close to a must-win situation as it now sits at the bottom of Group B with two tough opponents in Guadalajara and Tigres still on the schedule.

To make things worse for the Cementeros their starting goalkeeper Oscar Perez is questionable for the game against Chivas as he strained his thigh in the match against Necaxa on Wednesday night in Houston.

"We're still not sure about him yet," said Cruz Azul coach Isaac Mizrahi. "He's coming along but we're still figuring out whether he can play."

Back-up goalkeeper Emmanuel Gonzalez has prepared himself for the starting job in training after coming into the match at halftime in the InterLiga opener.

"I know I am ready," said Gonzalez. "I came in last game so I will be ready to play."

In the first match of the tournament, Necaxa's defensive style caused Cruz Azul some trouble, even though the Cementeros controlled the game in terms of possession and quality chances.

"In the last game, basically our problem was not finishing our plays, our chances," said Mizrahi. "Basically, we know the goals will come and that's what we need to work on."

One interesting storyline going into Cruz Azul's match with Chivas on Saturday is the transfer of Miguel Sabah to the Cementeros from Guadalajara which took place just before Wednesday night's doubleheader.

"As a professional soccer player things change," said Sabah. "I just have to go in and do what I've always done, which is to try and score goals and help the team. I'll be ready to play just as I would in any other game."

Sabah asked to leave Chivas after they made several acquisitions in the offseason which relegated him to the bench. There is an outside chance he could play during InterLiga, although with such a short time with his new teammates he is still finding his way after dropping the stripes of Chivas for the bright blue of the Cementeros.

Scott Joiner is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the league or its clubs.

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