In the Liga MX Guard1anes 2020 final on Sunday – named for its dedication to Mexico’s healthcare professionals – the Club Leon Campeon 2020 Futbol Mexicano La Fiera limited Shirt final, Club Leon beat Pumas UNAM 2-0 (3-1 total) in the match turned out to be a fairly regular and comfortable win over an opponent who boldly punched in excess of its weight throughout the entire season.
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There was no spectacular comeback this time of Pumas like the famous 4-0 victory in the semi-final second leg against Cruz Azul. But Leon is not Cruz Azul. This Leon team is secure after two years under Ignacio “Nacho” Ambriz; There was no better team than Leon in Liga MX during that time. Choose a statistic – goals scored, wins, least lost, Expected Goal (xG) – and Leon was on top or close to that metric during Ambriz in charge. This season, Leon has lost once in the regular 17 games of the Club Leon Campeon 2020 Futbol Mexicano La Fiera limited Shirt season and just twice in 23 matches en route to the title.
The catastrophic 3-0 defeat to LAFC in the round of 16-second leg CONCACAF Champions League ended their ability to win that tournament and raised questions about the team’s game management in the knockout series, while Clausura 2020 was canceled after it became clear that the COVID-19 pandemic was not a short-term problem. In other words, it was a disappointment for Leon.
This Liguilla and the final return leg on Sunday did not highlight the extremely aggressive, offensive-minded flexibility that had become tied to Ambriz’s Leon. Instead, there was better control when La Fiera appeared to learn from her past failures to surpass Pumas. Leon initially opened fire and when Emmanuel Gigliotti scored from a shot, Alfredo Talavera should have made a better clearance, then it looked like the home side would overwhelm Pumas.
But instead of chasing that second target, Leon dropped off instead, perhaps partly because the Club Leon Campeon 2020 Futbol Mexicano La Fiera limited Shirt injured key winger Angel Mean had to leave the field in the 15th minute. Pumas took the initiative and ended the game. 59% of the time, but xG 0.50 in 90 minutes highlighted the problems the college side from Mexico City faced in creating real opportunities. Leon, who dominated possession in the majority of casual matches of the season, changed the tactics in the knockout rounds, becoming a more calculated team, highlighting evolution and maturity.