Cruz Azul faces ghosts

Cruz Azul, which this week marked its 12th year without a Mexican league championship, will look to erase those ghosts when it challenges a Monterrey team in the Apertura 2009 tournament that will surely have help from above.

Cruz Azul is making its third appearance in the last four finals without a trophy to show for it. It faces Monterrey team that qualified in fifth place, but has eliminated favored América in the quarterfinals and Toluca in the semifinals thanks to the work of forward Aldo de Nigris.

De Nigris has scored seven goals in the playoffs, and has been hailed as a hero following the death by his soccer-playing brother, Antonio, who was 31 years old when he died of a heart attack.

Cruz Azul coach Enrique Meza will be gunning for his fifth league title, while Monterrey coach Víctor Manuel Vucetich will be looking for his fourth.