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Leon wins La Liga MX, double championship

Mauro Boselli of Leon celebrates the equalizer against Pachuca.
Mauro Boselli of Leon celebrates the equalizer against Pachuca.

Leon FC entered the game as the current Apertura 2013 champion with a goal down against CF Pachuca, Mexico’s oldest club. Despite being down, Leon was able to break the net as the visiting squad and take the game 2-0.

The game was played on the grounds of the Hidalgo Stadium in Pachuca, Mexico. At the beginning of the game Leon had yet to defeat the Tuzos since their recent return to first division play. With Pachuca taking a 3-2 lead at the Nou Camp it looked dim for La Fiera.

The worries doubled for the esmeraldas when Coach Gustavo Matosas had to substitute defender Johnny Magallon in the 5th minute of play. The veteran player was a key element in Matosas’ lineup. If that wasn’t enough, Matosas was forced to make another substitution two minutes later when Colombian Franco Arizala limped off the field with an injury. The panorama looked grim for Leon.

The players left it all on the pitch. Pachuca proposed, but came up short. Leon played their attacking game, with very little results against veteran keeper Oscar “Conejo” Perez’ net. The question on everyone’s mind was how would the national team players hold up? Would Carlos “Gulit” Peña be at his best since he’d been part of La Liga MX games, Copa Libertadores games, and Mexican national team games? Would team captain Rafael Marquez keep his cool after several disciplinary actions taken against him? To end the stress against Leon, they were facing Coach Enrique “Ojitos” Meza, the technical director with most league titles in the current format.

After 45 minutes of play, Pachuca hit the locker room with their finger tips on the cup. A 3-2 win at the Nou Camp had them at 45 minutes from winning their 6th league title. But Leon did not ease off on their attack. The panzas verdes were better on the field. In the 66th minute Argentine Mauro Boselli put the ball in the net.

Pachuca lost their wind and for the remainder of the game Leon kept on top of the action looking to take the lead. The home team could do nothing as Matosas’ team kept dominance of the field. Regular game time came to an end at 90 minutes with an aggregate score of 3-3. An additional two 15-minute halves would be needed to decide the Clausura 2014 champion.

The first 15 minutes passed with neither team being able to do any damage. The fatigue was evident at the end of the first overtime half as players slowly changed sides of the field with no break. The winning goal arrived in the 111th minute of play. On a corner kick Juan Gonzalez beat his marker and headed past Perez for the final 2-0. Leon was winning back-to-back championships, the first to do so since Pumas UNAM did in 2004.

The celebration is short lived for some players as Captain Marquez said at the end of the game.

“We get a few days of rest, then we have to report to the national team,” the former champion with FC Barcelona and AC Monaco told Univision Deportes Network.

This is Leon’s 7th Mexican league title.

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