Leon FC defeated Club America 2-0 at the Camp Nou Thursday giving them an advantage going in to the return leg of the Apertura 2013 championship of La Liga MX. While the hosts won the match, the result does not reflect what happened on the field.
La Fiera scored the first goal in the 10th minute of play. Carlos “Gulit” Peña took advantage of a down moment from the America defense and put the ball past goalkeeper Moises Muñoz to start their quest on the right foot.
However, that was about it for Leon on the field. The panzas verdes gave up possession of the ball allowing America to do as they pleased. Goalkeeper William Yarbrough was lucky, more than one expects under the posts. On several occasions he was able to recover rebounds that were inches from entering his net.
Raul Jimenez, Rubens Sambueza and Luis Gabriel Rey were constant on the attack and it looked like America was closer to closing the gap than Leon was to increasing their lead. But again, luck played out for the local squad. Rafael Marquez was solid on defense. He controlled the back line not allowing America to get a good shot through.
The second half continued with America moving forward trying to get the goal they needed to reach the Azteca with an advantage. But the visitors left spaces open for the home team. Leon would not attack, just defend their goal.
The spaces left by America would eventually cost them the second goal. On a counterstrike Peña took the ball down the center and when he fired, Francisco “Maza” Rodriguez blocked the shot. Unfortunately for him the ball landed at Mauro Boselli’s foot. He fired and found the top angle of Muñoz’s net to give Leon the 2-0.
The frustration on the America lines was evident. They played better, yet were down 2-0. Now the home side and the home crowd applied pressure. For a brief moment America was a wounded animal trying to regain their composure. It appeared that Leon would seal the series with a third goal in the minutes that followed.
The visitors made changes to their lineup in an attempt to provide more firepower on the attack but were unsuccessful. The game ended 2-0 in Leon’s favor. The return leg is on Sunday at the Azteca stadium. America is looking to remount and win their 12th title. Leon would like to win their first title in La Liga MX since returning to maximum circuit three tournaments ago.