For 60 minutes the Super Group final at Dallas Cup XXXI was just a good soccer match. Cruzeiro of Brazil had a comfortable 2-0 lead and looked like they were coasting to the championship. A wonderful free kick opened the scoring and an early 2nd half goal gave the Brazilians the 2-0 lead.
Then things spiralled into craziness. The Cruzeiro coach took off their top striker and the #10 attacking center mid as the Brazilians began to drop deeper and deeper inviting CF Monterrey into the attack. The Mexico side scored and the match was back on as they poured forward.
Soon after CF Monterrey earned a freekick from about 30 yards out. Roger Llergo stepped up and fired the ball into the lower right of the net and the score was now 2-2. CF Monterrey celebrated wildly. Meanwhile, Cruzeiro lined up for the kickoff. The whistle blew and one touch later the ball was flying 60 yards towards the Monterrey goal. Everyone was taken by surprise....the Monterrey keeper, the linesman and the center referee. The CF Monterrey keeper retreated quickly and pinned the ball to the underside of the crossbar before fumbling it about and catching it. The problem was nobody was in position to call a goal or not. The linesman raced back to try to see but he ran into the still celebrating CF Monterrey substitues along the sideline. When all was done, play continues with no goal awarded.
At 2-2 most inside the stadium felt CF Monterrey had the winning goal in them. Instead, it was Cruzeiro who broke on a counterattack. the Brazilian struck a low shot from about 20 yards out that the CF Monterrey keeper seemed to have covered easily. Instead he went down, bobbled the ball and allowed it to squirt out right to the onrushing Cruzeiro player who tucked it home. Cruzeiro 3-2.
As the clock wound down Cruzeiro broke again and scored in the 90th minute to put the game away. The Brazilians went wild as players from the bench raced onto the field to celebrate the 4th goal. Even the coach raced onto the field. The CF Monterrey players did not appreciate the wild celebration and when one of the Cruzeiro players jogged back through the center circle dancing in front of the Monterrey players the fight was on.
Players from both teams met in the center circle with the normal pushing and shoving. The referee was right in the middle of it trying to break it up. It looked like a huge brawl might be averted, but then the CF Monterrey substitutes who had been warming up behind the goal arrived. Chaos erupted and a solid five minute fight ensued that spilled across the field. At one point the Cruzeiro coach was on the ground being kicked by three CF Monterrey players. Finally enough police made it down to the field to get things under control.
Then things spread into the stands where the CF Monterrey U17s were. They had won the Under 17 title earlier in the day and ready to help defend their older brothers. Five more minutes of pushing and shoving between the U17s and Brazilian fans in the stands then ensued before the CF Monterrey kids were escorted out by security and police.
The fans made their feelings well known as the Monterrey squad was booed off the field for their actions in the brawl. It was quite an unfortunate ending to what was for the most part a very good final. Cruzeiro 4 CF Monterrey 2. Here is some video of the fight although it is tough to see and misses the opening couple of minutes of the brawl.