Toluca edged America in the first leg of the Liga MX semifinal on Thursday, defeating the reigning champion 2-1 to leave Sunday’s second leg on a knife edge.
America had taken the lead when Colombian Luis Gabriel Rey back heeled the ball into the net in the 33rd, but home side Toluca came charging back after halftime, with Isaac Brizuela twisting, turning and then launching a curling effort from outside the penalty area to equalize in the 50th.
Six minutes later, the Paraguayan struck a left foot effort from the corner of the box, after America ‘keeper Moises Munoz had given the ball away cheaply.
“We committed enormous errors,” lamented America coach Miguel Herrera after the game. “We gifted them two goals.”
In the other semifinal, Leon defeated Santos Laguna 3-1 in a convincing display, with Santos’ Javier Orozco scoring in second half injury time to give Pedro Caixinha’s team a glimmer of hope for Sunday’s return match.
“That goal could be the difference,” stated the Portuguese coach. “We don’t have a problem with going toe-to-toe with a team like Leon.”
Jose Juan Vazquez, Carlos Pena and Franco Arizala got Leon’s goals.
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