Anyone who has watched the best TV show ever made (at the very least the best drama) “The Wire” knows the line “if you come at the king, you best not miss”. In the Liga MX Apertura 2013 final, Leon made sure it did not miss striking first at finalist and defending champions Club America 2-0 in the first leg on Thursday night. Leon took that advantage with them to the Azteca Stadium on Sunday but knew it could not rest on its laurels as aside from a 2-0 advantage being the most deceiving score line in soccer, it would have to win the title at the home of the king.
Both teams made changes and modification to their starting 11s and tactical formations from the ones they had on Thursday night as Leon opted to play a 3-5-2 by bringing in Christian Loboa in place of Hernan Burbano while Miguel Herrera in his last game as coach of America opted to go with Narciso Mina over Luis Gabriel Rey as forward and Luis Mendoza over Osvaldo Martinez as the right-sided attacking midfielder. Like in the opening 10-15 minutes of the game on Thursday night, the first minutes of the return leg were just as open and end to end as that on Thursday night.
The opening minutes saw America create the first scoring chances of the game as Luis Mendoza came close to opening the score line but he saw a well hit shot hit the inside of the post and bounce out while Narciso Mina had a chance to make it 1-0 for America but he badly played his header. This miss would cost America dearly as a few minutes later against the run of play, Carlos Peña would deliver a well threaded pass to Mauro Boselli who calmly put one past Moises Munoz to give Leon an early 1-0 lead to give them some cushion to manage the rest of the game.
Even down 3-0, America did not give up and continued to attack and looked to score, which they did four minutes from half as a Rubens Sambueza shot would be deflected by Leon defender Ignacio Gonzalez and with goalkeeper William Yarbrough leaning the other direction, the deflection went into goal to ensure the final 45 minutes would be a barn burner. Yet, as the second half began and when it seemed like America was poised to show it was not ready to give up the throne, Leon struck the final blow to the king as Ignacio Gonzalez would score this time against the other goal to give Leon a 2-1 lead early in the second half. Edwin Hernandez would make it 3-1 with 14 minutes left to make it academic.
In the end, Leon after so many years of living in darkness by spending 10 years in the second division, a club that has been a pillar in the history of soccer in Mexico for the first time since 1992 has won the league title in the first division. This team fully deserved to claim the sixth title in club history as Gustavo Matosas has shown the way and provided a blueprint for many other clubs in Mexico to follow and emulate. In the end, Leon went after the king and conquered it and is now the king itself and rightfully so after so many years of having to bow down.