'We did not have the spark' - Cruz Azul boss Reynoso laments tired display in Mazatlan defeat

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Cruz Azul manager Juan Reynoso has criticized his side's intensity after they suffered a shock home loss to Mazatlan in their first game of the 2021-22 Liga MX Apertura.

The reigning Mexican champions were stunned 2-0 at home, going down to Nicolas Diaz's strike in first-half stoppage time and a second-half goal from Bryan Colula.

Reynoso says his team will have to improve quickly in order to avoid being left behind in the early stages of the Liga MX season, and said the absence of several key players to international duty was not an excuse.

What has been said?

Speaking at his post-match press conference, Reynoso said: "We did not have the spark, the intensity or the aggressiveness to press like we depend on.

"Football always gives you a message and today is a clear message of when we stop doing things, we are going to have nights like this.

"It would be easy to shield ourselves [behind the excuse of missing players], but if you play for this club it is because you have the capacity to reverse the situation. We showed it last game [against Leon], we did not expect such a performance here."

Absence of stars felt

Orbelin Pineda is with the senior Mexico side at the Gold Cup, while winger Roberto Alvarado and midfielder Luis Romo are in Tokyo with the Olympic team.

While missing three first team players is difficult for Cruz Azul, they must get used to their absence with Mexico having reached the semi-finals of the Gold Cup, facing Canada on July 29, while in the Olympics the U23s will reach the knock-out stages should they defeat South Africa tomorrow.

Instead, the reigning Liga MX champions must dust themselves down to face Santos Laguna away on Monday.

Delight for Mazatlan

While Reynoso and his players were left to lick their wounds, Mazatlan coach Benat San Jose could not hide his excitement at his team having beaten the champions at the Azteca.

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He said: "It is a very good feeling about how we have done it, we have not stopped for a moment, we have attacked our rival all the time.

"It is a very good feeling and very proud of the players, it was a very good match. complex because we had many important players missing."

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