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Leon and Atlas gave their best in the first-leg match of the 2021 Apertura Final. The triumph was for the home team which thanks to the Ecuatorian got a one-goal lead for the second-leg match that will be played next Sunday at Atlas Stadium.
Atlas is not dead
Even though Leon won the match, the champion is not decided yet because this one-goal margin lead for the team led by Ariel Holan is not enough for a tough team like Atlas who has the advantage to play at Jalisco Stadium for the second-leg match.
Diego Cocca´s players are hungry to become champions and to give their fans what they deserve after a long time. Leon would not have an easy match and having the advantage for one goal is only an incentive to defend oneself better.
Atlas attackers Julio Furch and Julián Quiñones showed their skills in the first-leg final match although it was not enough to get the victory. Leon’s defensive line must be careful with this pair to not suffer what they suffered in the last match. Only one goal difference in favor of Atlas in the second-leg match will take the match to extra time.
Leon vs Atlas First-leg Resume
Ángel Mena came up with another great performance. Despite the fact that Atlas had the advantage for a big part of the game, the Ecuatorian striker once again played the role of hero, as he has done throughout the playoffs, because, with his third two-goal performance of the final stage on Thursday, León secured a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Atlas in the first leg of the Apertura 2021 Final, to be decided next Sunday, December 12, at the Jalisco Stadium.
La Fiera managed to react to the two different times they found themselves down on the scoreboard. The foxes surprised and took the lead twice, however, they were unable to maintain it and lost the advantage on both chances due to the pressure applied by Leon at key moments of the game.
Luis Reyes opened the score in the 12th minute with a shot inside the box from a throw-in.
The Foxes had the match in an optimal situation and although the response was slow, the Panzas Verdes managed to equalize in the 32nd minute when Víctor Dávila scored a powerful shot from outside the area, which was embedded in the upper right corner of Camilo Vargas' goal.
Atlas never proposed a match to get a draw. So, in the second half, and despite the fact that they were not with full ball possession, they took the lead once again at minute 65. Julio Furch’s goal silenced the stands of the Nou Camp for a few moments, which was filled to its capacity to watch the first chapter of the Final.
But León found the equalizer at minute 72 thanks to a mistake made by Camilo Vargas, who failed to make a good save on a strong shot by Jean Meneses. The ball spat out and Ángel Mena arrived to make it 2-2.
Ten minutes later, a controversial foul by Aldo Rocha on Víctor Dávila inside the box enabled the home team to take the lead. Mena, the official penalty taker, took the ball and easily put it wide of Vargas to make the final score 3-2, with which Leon will try to close out the series on Sunday at the Jalisco Stadium.
Therefore, although Atlas had the advantage with almost 10 minutes to go to dream of a second championship and the end of their 70-year drought, it is León who are closer to their ninth star.
Atlas has another 90 minutes left to try to reverse the result and become champions after more than seven decades.