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Leon strikes first in La Liga MX semifinals

Luis Montes scored the winning goal for Leon.
Luis Montes scored the winning goal for Leon.
Imago7

Leon FC took a one goal advantage over Toluca FC at the Nou Camp during the first leg of the semifinals of the Clausura 2014 of La Liga MX. The panzas verdes took control of the game from the beginning making constant runs on the Toluca defense. The chorizeros were lucky to receive only one goal from the defending league champions. The esmeraldas take the one-goal advantage going into Sunday’s game at the Nemesio Diez Stadium.

“The win was important, more because it is a home game,” Leon Coach Gustavo Matosas said. “It was an open game. We won. Now we will rest and get ready for the next game.”

La Fiera will travel to Toluca in an attempt to reach their second final in a row. Matosas said the team will be giving their all on the field of “la Bombonera.”

“We have to win,” Matosas said. “We have to go out and win in Toluca, we have no other choice.”

Mexican national team hopeful Luis Montes opened scoring in the 23rd minute when Jose Cardenas centered to Mauro Boselli. Boselli had pulled the defenders to cover when leaving Montes alone to head the ball past Alfredo Talavera for the only goal of the game.

Carlos “Gulit” Peña, another Mexican national team hopeful, did not have a good game struggling in the midfield and losing the ball on several occasions.

“It’s not fair,” Matosas said about the fans’ reaction to Peña’s low performance. “Players are like the fans’ children, you always have to support them.”

Four minutes after the goal Talavera was substituted off the field for a hit he took to the face. The forced Jose Saturnino Cardozo to bring in Cesar Lozano. The new keeper played an important role for Toluca making several stops to keep Leon from widening their lead.

This is Leon’s first victory over Toluca since returning to top flight Mexican soccer. The return leg is scheduled for Sunday in Toluca.