CF Pachuca defeated Leon FC 3-2 at the Nou Camp in the first leg of the Clausura 2014 final of La Liga MX. The Tuzos turned the game around against a Panzas Verdes team that was persistent from the start taking the lead in the half hour.
Both teams had runs on the each other’s nets, but it was Leon that kept the pressure on the five time Mexican league champions. In the 34th minute Carlos “Gulit” Peña broke the net to give La Fiera the 1-0 lead.
Gustavo Matosas had his team play their traditional game, all out on the attack. This kept the Tuzos pinned on their side of the net. While Pachuca tried to make runs, Leon maintained possession of the ball controlling the game. It appeared that the home field advantage would play in the esmeraldas’ favor. However, Pachuca was able to close the gap with seconds left in the first half. Enner Valencia found the back of the net to begin Pachuca’s revival. The game went into the half with the score drawn 1-1.
Pachuca came to life in the second half. In the 61st minute Valencia increased their lead to 2-1. The home side fell apart in the next couple of minutes and the Tuzos were able to capitalize. In the 68th minute Hirving Lozano made the game 3-1. Pachuca had turned the game around and taken a big lead away from home.
Miguel Herrera committed an error that cost the Tuzos a goal. On a set-piece the defender headed the ball to clear it, but ended up putting it in the net. The goal made the final score 3-2, the error a precious goal for Leon as they travel to Hidalgo to try and revert the score.
The game is scheduled for Sunday at the Hidalgo Stadium. Pachuca is looking for their 6th league title. If Leon wins, they become the first team to win back-to-back titles since Pumas UNAM in 2004. Since Leon’s arrival in La Liga MX, they have not been able to defeat Pachuca.