Cruz Azul beats Monterrey to lift Copa MX

Cruz Azul Copa MX
Azael Rodriguez/
La Maquina won their first trophy since 2013 by beating Rayados at Estadio BBVA Bancomer

Cruz Azul lifted the Copa MX Apertura after topping Monterrey 2-0 on Wednesday.

Elias Hernandez and Martin Cauteruccio scored on either side of the halftime break, extending Monterrey's poor run of form in home finals. While Rayados did lift the Copa MX in front of their home crowd in the 2017 Apertura, the club lost the 2017 Apertura league crown and the 2016 Liga MX Clausura title in front of its own fans.

The trophy, which puts Cruz Azul in the summer's Supercopa, is the first for Cruz Azul under Pedro Caixinha, who took over the club at the start of the calendar year. It's also the first trophy the club has won since 2013. Goalkeeper Jesus Corona and defender Julio Dominguez were part of both part of the team this year and the team that won it five years ago, as was the injured fullback Gerry Flores.

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There were moments of controversy, however, with defender Igor Lichnovsky looking to have earned a second yellow card for a foul on Monterrey forward Rogelio Funes Mori, but referee Fernando Guerrero showed the yellow card to Lichnovsky's teammate, Javier Salas. While VAR has been implemented this season in Liga MX, the Copa MX was played without any technological aids for officials.

Cruz Azul, which boasts the best defense in Liga MX, otherwise kept the hosts in check, though Jesus Gallardo broke through on a pair of occasions he was unable to finish past veteran goalkeeper Guillermo Allison.

Allison had been named the team's cup goalkeeper back in August with Caixinha predicting that he would lift the cup when the team went on to win it. That prediction came true during the celebrations Wednesday night - though Hernandez also got his hands on the trophy and took it over to the traveling fans.

La Maquina sit in second place in the league and have aspirations of winning the double with the cup and league titles. Cruz Azul hasn't won the league title since 1997. The club now turns its attention toward a top-four clash with Mexico City rival Pumas on Sunday with the potential to go to the top of the league should Club America stumble against Toluca.