Dominant León Captures Liga MX Title With 2-0 Win Over Pumas

The Superlider delivered in the final, winning 3-1 over Pumas on aggregate.

They could score four against Cruz Azul, but Pumas couldn’t find the one they ultimately needed for 82 minutes in Sunday’s Liga MX final. Emmanuel Gigliotti gave León the 2-1 aggregate lead at the Nou Camp in the 12th-minute, and the home side continued to generate the better chances until Yairo Moreno put them out of sight at the end.    

It’s the first title for León since the 2014 Clausura, while Pumas’ wait grows to a decade with the last one being the 2011 Clausura. 

After a 1-1 first leg, the opening 10 minutes of the Gran Final centered solely on León winger Ángel Mena. The Ecuadorian went down, went off, appeared unable to continue and then reentered the field of play. With everyone thinking about his health, León tore directly into Pumas. Only André Villas-Boas could devise a tactic so clever. 

Fernando Navarro beat his man out wide, charged at the defense and unleashed the perfectly timed run of Gigliotti. The Argentine took a touch, saw that Alfredo Talavera was giving him the far post and took it. The 38-year-old keeper was only named starter earlier today after missing the entirety of the liguilla through injury.       

The assist was the continuation of an excellent season for the 31-year-old Navarro.   

Mena would actually leave for good minutes later to be replaced by eternal Arsenal project Joel Campbell. The change didn’t alter much as León forced Talavera into action a couple more times before Pumas could build anything of note, but the door was instantly shut and kept by Nacho González. 

The second half got physical, particularly from an Andrés Mosquera perspective. The 30-year-old Colombian went head-to-head with Johan Vásquez in the 50th-minute, a collision which would lead to the 22-year-old Mexico international’s substitution. Look at Juan Iturbe rolling around out there, having the time of his life on the grass.   

Then Mosquera went in hard on Alejandro Mayorga, one of five yellow cards in the Gran Final. 

The title was secured in the 83rd minute after Chapo Montes hit Moreno in stride following a cheap Pumas turnover, and the fullback diced Andrés Iniestra before finishing. 

Landon Donovan still hasn’t tweeted his congratulations yet, but I’m watching and waiting. 

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