Puebla send Cuauhtemoc Blanco out on top in 4-2 win vs. Chivas
At 42 years old, Mexico legend Cuauhtemoc Blanco drew the curtain down on his career by lifting a trophy, as Puebla defeated Chivas 4-2 in the Copa MX final on Tuesday.
Blanco came off the bench in the 70th minute to rapturous applause and the team was able to hold on to its two-goal lead, with Chivas' Aldo de Nigris putting a late penalty wide.
The forward almost set up a goal deep into injury time and could have scored himself when he was put clean through, but couldn't get the ball under control in time to shoot.
"I'm going out very thankful to all the fans that supported me," said Blanco after the game, admitting he shed tears at the final whistle. "I enjoyed everything to the maximum and I thank God for giving me these legs and the gift of playing football."
"Retiring doesn't hurt me, it hurts not seeing the fans," he added. "I'll miss the chants that the fans always gave me."
Puebla captain Luis Noriega handed Blanco the captain's armband at the end of the game to allow the veteran of three World Cups to lift the Copa MX trophy.
Blanco made his Liga MX debut for Club America back in December 1992 and went on to enjoy one of the most distinguished careers of any Mexican player, featuring in 11 matches over three World Cups.
Blanco sits in second in America's all-time leading goal-scorer list and is the joint second-highest ever goal-scorer for El Tri, alongside Real Madrid's Javier Hernandez.
The often-controversial forward is set to embark on a political career following his retirement from soccer and is running to be mayor of the Mexican city of Cuernavaca in June's elections.
In the Copa MX final, Puebla went in 2-0 up at halftime thanks to headed goals from Facundo Erpen and Luis Gabriel Rey, but Chivas stormed back after the break, with De Nigris netting in the 55th minute and then again 60 seconds later.
Argentine Matias Alustiza put Puebla back ahead on the hour mark from the penalty spot and increased the team's lead eight minutes later for good.