Defending champions Club America came into the Liga MX Apertura 2013 playoffs as the top seed and looking to be only the second team to repeat as champions since Mexico adopted the two-season format.
They entered the second leg of their semifinal tie against Toluca down 2-1 on the aggregate scoreline, but had the advantage of playing at home for the second leg thanks to them being higher up in the league table and knowing that a 1-0 result would suit them just fine. America went on to produce a very good display as they won 2-0, and they will now defend their title over two legs against Leon.
Just like in the first half of the first leg, America did a very good job of winning the battle out on the wings. Miguel Layun and Paul Aguilar did good work in shutting down and rendering Isaac Brizuela and Edgar Benitez nonexistent for the vast majority of this game. Conversely, Layun and Aguilar also did a good job of getting forward and creating several chances, which prompted Toluca coach Jose Saturino Cardozo to take extra caution when Toluca attacked.
America took the lead early thanks to defender Aquivaldo Mosquera scoring a header from a corner kick 12 minutes into the game. This early goal allowed America to be able to carry out its game plan calmly and without the pressure of a 0-0 scoreline lingering deep into the game. Set-piece attacking throughout the past year has proven to be a strength of America, and it showed on Mosquera’s goal and later on in the game.
America would seal its passage into the final off another corner kick, with substitute Jesus Molina heading in the 2-0 goal for America and give them a chance to win the 12th league title in club history.
America will be taking on Leon, who advanced over Santos Laguna by an aggregate scoreline of 5-3 after the second leg finished in a 2-2 tie. Santos were given life early in the second half as Oribe Peralta pulled Santos within one goal of advancing, but when Leon needed to calm things down, Mauro Boselli was there to score the goal that reestablish Leon’s two-goal advantage with Carlos Peña adding to it later on.
Throughout this tie, Leon were clearly the better team as their ability to overrun the Santos midfield with playmakers like Peña, Luis Montes and Juan Jose Vasquez proved to be a handful at times for the team coached by Pedro Caixhina.
For fans of one these two teams and for neutral observers, this final will be a definite must-watch as both teams play a style of futbol which is pleasing on the eyes and will generate many scoring chances during each game. The final will offer Miguel Herrera the chance to fulfill the promise he made of winning the bi-campeonato before he officially moves on as the Mexico National Team coach on a full time basis.
For the team coached by Gustavo Matosas, it’s a chance to win a title for a historic club that continues to shine after so many years of darkness and hopelessness.