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Atlas, champion of Mexican soccer 2021: goal, penalties and how a 70-year curse was broken

Leon played defensively, failed to score in regulation time, and missed in penalty kicks.

Fans were able to celebrate after more than 70 years, Atlas champion of Mexican soccer 2021.
Fans were able to celebrate after more than 70 years, Atlas champion of Mexican soccer 2021.

Atlas is the 2021 Mexican soccer champion and on a historic night, broke a curse of more than 70 years. The duel ended with only one goal and the final was decided on penalties

It had taken more than 70 years for Atlas to be champion again, the last time was in the 1951 season when Costa Rican Edwin Cubero scored a penalty kick, which would give the team its last victory. Until last night. 

Atlas' championship goal

The only goal of the match was scored by Aldo Rocha, captain of the team. The player scored from a corner kick. 

The service was from the left, the ball was shot by the Argentine Julio Furch, but the ball hit a defender.

Jeremy Marquez caught the rebound of the ball with a poorly executed left-footed shot, which Rocha composed to send it into the back of the net and score the only goal of the match. 

And if it was the only goal of the match, it was because Leon defended their goal very well, but their tactical error was to go out to protect the score. 

Throughout the first half and most of the second half, La Fiera was more concerned with guarding their goal than attacking their opponent's goal. 

However, the goal had to be reviewed by the referee through the VAR, but the referee confirmed the goal and the match continued. 

Upon seeing this, Ariel Holan, coach of Leon began to make tactical changes to players, as he sat Colombatto and Omar Fernandez and put Luis Montes and Emmanuel Gigliotti on the field. 

The changes began to pay off as Gigliotti almost tied the game with a header in front of the goal from a corner kick. 

The match became very tense and two Lion players were sent off near the end of regulation time. Meneses was sent off while still on the bench for insulting the referee. 

Gigliotti was sent off for the accumulation of cards. The regulation time was over and the extra time ended with no goals. And so it came to penalties. 

Penalties arrived

The shooting began and the first team to start would be Leon, with Elias Hernandez, who scored his goal. After that, Atlas followed. 

In charge of the shot was Jesus Angulo, who scored from the left. Then it would be the turn of Fernando Navarro, from La Fiera, who would miss, bringing Atlas closer to the title. 

But the next shot, from Aldo Rocha of the Rojinegros, crashed the ball against the post. 

With the penalties tied, Angel Mena scored for the visitors with a powerful shot. 

Next on the list was Zaldívar, who made no mistake and made the score 2-2. Then William Tesillo and Trejo would score, each for their teams, making the score 3-3. 

The next shots would define everything. Luis Montes de Leon set up, took his stance, and when he took his shot, he missed! And left everything ready for Julio Furch to take the last penalty to decide the final. 

The Argentinean scored and Atlas won the Mexican soccer championship more than 70 years after it was last won. 

How was a curse of more than 70 years broken?

This season, Atlas opted for a practical game, without showing off, but one that would get them results. Diego Cocca's hand in using the resources available to the team was noticeable. 

In fact, they did such a good job that they finished in second place in the Liga MX general table. 

And it was this result that allowed them to tie with Pumas to win their ticket to the final of Mexican soccer.

Which they defined in penalty kicks to give joy to the Guadalajara fans and allow them to celebrate, after more than 70 years of not having done so.

Congratulations Atlas, Mexican soccer champion.

Walter Gabriel Estrella Yah.

Journalist with more than 10 years of experience. Puma UNAM at heart. Fan of the most beautiful sport on the planet. I currently cover Liga MX, MLS, Premier League, Mexican National Team and USMNT. Always attentive to the latest world soccer news.+ info

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