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Club Leon taking pride in accomplishments despite elimination

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Brent Latham: Liga MX breathes fresh air in form of Tijuana - Leon semifinal
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Brent Latham: Liga MX breathes fresh air in form of Tijuana - Leon semifinal

The players and coaching staff of Club Leon spoke to reporters upon their return to Guanajuato, reflecting pride in the team’s accomplishments this season, just hours after Club Leon’s elimination from the Apertura 2012 Liguilla.

“The team showed its ideas in terms of football,” goalkeeper Christian Martinez told the press in Leon. “We won people’s respect, and the admiration of a lot of people for our style of play.”

Club Leon was the regular season leader in goals scored in the Liga MX, with 34 from 17 matches. The offense was diverse, with five players contributing four or more goals.

In the end the upstart team came up just short of the final, falling in the semifinals to Club Tijuana, 3-2 on aggregate, after taking a 2-0 advantage into Sunday’s away leg.

Few had expected Club Leon, in its first campaign in the Liga MX after a decade in the Mexican second flight, to be anywhere besides among the bottom teams in the league, much less fighting for the Apertura title.

“We go away calmly, things came out very well,” said Leon’s Uruguayan coach, Gustavo Matosas.

“We achieved various objectives and had a very good experience in the Premier Division. The players gave a lot of joy to the coaching staff and the fans, and the board of directors. There were a lot of objectives achieved and many to continue achieving.”

With the threat of relegation not a concern for the time being, Leon will now concentrate on the Clausura 2013, and a historic participation in the 2013 Copa Libertadores, for which it qualified with its third place regular season finish.

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