Liga MX Final Finely Poised After A Perfectly Ludicrous First Leg

A late equalizer from 10-man León sets up what should be an incredible second leg.

Emmanuel Gigliotti, who definitely should’ve been sent off about 30 minutes earlier, scored a late equalizer for 10-man León to salvage a 1-1 draw against Pumas in the first leg of the Liga MX Guard1anes 2020 final on Thursday night. The even score sets up what should be an incredible second leg on Sunday night in León.

Few leagues in the world entertain as much as Liga MX and Thursday’s first leg was no different.

After a scoreless first half, Gigliotti replaced the enigmatic Joel Campbell to start the second half. About 15 minutes later, he intentionally smashed his knee into UNAM keeper Julio González’s head, somehow escaping all punishment. 

Gigliotti didn’t even try to get out of the path of González, who was always going to get the ball first. Instead, the León striker threw himself at the keeper, making painful-looking contact with his knee. 

Alas, the officials saw no reason to even give Gigliotti a yellow card and he stayed on the pitch, because Concacaf.

The feistiness continued a few minutes later when Jaine Barreiro shoved Juan Vigon to the pitch well after the whistle. Barreiro and Carlos González were both booked in the brouhaha. 

Carlos González, however, appeared to get the last laugh when he scored in the 72nd minute.

And Barreiro was sent off with a second yellow in the 81st minute (though it could’ve been a straight red if we’re being honest).

But it wasn’t to be for Pumas, who finished second in the regular season behind León. 

Despite playing with 10 men, the visitors scored a late equalizer against the run of play through none other than Gigliotti.

The 1-1 draw sets up what should be a memorable final on Sunday. It will be the first champion crowned in Mexico since Monterrey won the 2019 Apertura since the 2020 Clausura was canceled by Covid-19. 

Pumas vs León Highlights 2020 Apertura First Leg

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