2019 Leagues Cup, Quarterfinals
  • Roberto Alvarado (43')
  • Elias Hernández (90')

Cruz Azul beat Fire to reach Leagues Cup semis

A goal in each half from Mexico internationals Roberto Alvarado and Elias Hernandez sealed a 2-0 victory for Cruz Azul against Chicago Fire in the first ever Leagues Cup game on Tuesday.

La Maquina advances to the semifinals of the tournament, where it will face LA Galaxy or Club Tijuana, who play later Tuesday.

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Alvarado latched onto a long throw-in, flicked the ball up and guided it in to the corner two minutes before half-time to hand La Maquina the victory, while Hernandez netted in second half injury time on the counter with the Fire chasing the game.

Cruz Azul had dominated in SeatGeek Stadium against a Chicago Fire side that left regulars Bastian Schweinsteiger, C.J. Sapong and Francisco Calvo, amongst others, on the bench, with the team still having hopes of making the MLS postseason.

It took the Fire until the 56th minute to register its one and only shot on target and the MLS side had only 31 percent of the possession over the 90 minutes, although after Schweinsteiger and Sapong came off the bench early in the second half, the Chicago team did threaten more.

Cruz Azul coach Pedro Caixinha played a strong starting XI and had stressed before the game that his team -- considered one of Mexico's "big four" -- was determined to win the tournament, with the final in Las Vegas on Sept. 18.

The other quarterfinals between Houston Dynamo and Club America and Real Salt Lake against Tigres will take place on Wednesday.