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Cruz Azul fire manager right before LAFC Champions League showdown

Humiliating collapse in Liga MX semifinals cost Siboldi his job.

Pumas UNAM v Cruz Azul - Playoffs Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images

On Friday, news that was both surprising and not came down, as Cruz Azul fired manager Robert Siboldi.

It’s not surprising because Cruz Azul just had one of the most epic playoff collapses you’ll see, as they went ahead 4-0 in their two-leg series against Pumas in the Liga MX liguilla semifinal, before losing 4-0 in the return leg and crashing out of the playoffs. Cruz Azul are legendary for such collapses, but this one is even worse than most of the previous ones, honestly, since it cost them a spot in the final. Add to that, the short tournament format in Liga MX leads to rapid turnover, so coaches come and go quickly anyway.

What is a bit surprising is that it took the club several days to act — they didn’t fire Siboldi as La Maquina walked off the field after the loss, like has happened in the past in the league — and Cruz Azul have a big game coming up, Wednesday against Los Angeles Football Club in the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal.

Dropping the manager less than a week before a continental knockout game is a big move, even with the collapse in the domestic campaign. It could give Cruz Azul a boost, or it could give LAFC a better chance with their opponent in some disarray.

We’ll find out when they hit the field next week! The club says they’ll have an interim manager for the LAFC game, but they haven’t announced it yet. Again, maybe swapping coaches will make Cruz Azul feel better and they won’t collapse once more, but this could also be a big, big opportunity for LAFC. Time will tell.

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