Two overachieving outsiders face off for a chance to lift the 2018 Clausura trophy when Santos Laguna welcome the Diablos Rojos of Toluca in the First Leg of the Liga MX Final.
Santos Laguna will, no doubt, come in as the brighter of the two sides after taking down the defending champions Tigres and crushing favorites Club América. However, Toluca, while not having an outstanding Liguilla, were abnormally difficult to stop during the regular season and will look to cap off an amazing year with another league trophy.
Tactically, the match will require big decisions from both managers, and striking the right balance may be the key. For Santos, their performances have touched upon what you imagine is just about everything coach Robert Siboldi wants to see from his team. That said, there is an argument that they can leave themselves exposed at the consequence of their play, and that is something Hernan Cristante and Toluca will look to take advantage of. The question here, however, is will we see a Toluca team released on the attack or will we see a more defensive Toluca that looks to play more through Fernando Uribe. The Diablos Rojos are a team more than capable of playing both ways, especially with the midfield talent of Rubens Sambueza and Pablo Barrientos available.
In some regard, these were two of the best teams in Mexico across the last few months. As such, the First Leg of the Liga MX Final promises to be a tense affair, and a lot of it will likely decide which team lifts the trophy at the Estadio Nemesio Diez on Sunday night.
Date: Thursday, May 16
Time: 6:00pm Pacific, 8:00pm Central, 9:00pm Eastern
Venue: Estadio Corona, Torreón, Mexico
TV: Univision (US-Spanish), Univision Deportes Network (US - Spanish), ESPN2 (Mexico), Azteca Siete (Mexico)
Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)