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2018 Liga MX Clausura Final: Toluca FC 1 (2), Club Santos 1 (3)

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Santos Laguna are the new champions of Mexico!

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Toluca v Santos Laguna - Final Torneo Clausura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Match Recap

Toluca would start the match on the front foot, looking to get the equalizer early. They did well to hold possession and win set pieces, however Santos was equally up to the challenge.

The visitors would break through first however in the 10th minute when Julio Furch hit a well placed shot that a diving Alfredo Talavera couldn’t reach. Furch’s second goal of the series stunned the crowd at Nemesio Díez.

Two minutes later, Toluca almost pulled one back when Rubens Sambueza put a cross up high into the box. Luis Quiñones went up in the mixer and got his head on it, but it went just wide of Jona Orozco’s net.

Toluca would regain the momentum and keep pressing, but Santos’ defense would remain resolute. The visitors seemed content to let Toluca retain possession, dropping back and clogging up passing lanes.

In the 26th minute, Toluca had a great opportunity when Rubens Sambueza drew a foul deep. When the Santos players went to voice their displeasure to the referee, Sambu quickly restarted play and hit a pass across to Pablo Barrientos. Barrientos was well defended however and was unable to get a clean hit at goal. Barrientos would go down injured minutes later, and was replaced at the half hour mark by Alexis Canelo.

In the 32nd minute Santos almost added to their lead when off of an Osvaldito Martínez free kick, Carlos Izquierdoz hit a header that beat Tala but rang off of the far post and back to the Toluca goalkeeper.

In the 37th minute, Jona Orozco made a diving save to swat away a Sambu shot that seemed destined for the back of the net.

Minutes later, Luis Quiñones hit a shot that hit Carlos Izquierdoz in the elbow. The referee ruled that Izquierdoz did not handle the ball and play continued, much to the exasperation of Quiñones.

As the first half went in to added time, Antonio Ríos hit a laser that Orozco made another fantastic diving save on. Orozco put on a clinic in the first half, making four saves according to SofaScore.com.

Toluca would resume applying pressure almost immediately in the second half. In the 49th minute, Quiñones whipped in a free kick but the resulting header from Osvaldo González went directly into Orozco’s arms.

Santos was content to sit back and absorb the pressure as they had done in the first half, looking for opportunities to hit the Red Devils on the counter.

Orozco came up huge again when in the 59th minute Toluca was able to break through the Santos defense and Alexis Canelo was in alone with Orozco. Canelo shot into Orozco though, and the rebound went out of harm’s way.

Santos had answers for almost everything that Toluca threw at them. In the 81st minute, Toluca would finally get one back when Sambueza whipped a cross into the box. Gabriel Hauche was left unmarked and hit one against the grain of play. Orozco could not get to it in time and the crowd at Estadio Nemesio Díez erupted.

Toluca desperately pressed for the equalizer, throwing men forward at every opportunity. Santos held firm, practicing the art of time wasting as often as they could. In the end, Los Guerreros would be the ones getting their names engraved on the trophy as they were able to hold on and become champions of Liga MX.

Game: Deportivo Toluca Fútbol Club S.A. de C.V. vs Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.

Date: Sunday, May 20th

Time: 08:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 12:00 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Nemesio Diez (Toluca, Edomex)

TV: Univision (US-Spanish), Univision Deportes Network (US - Spanish), UnivisionTDN (Mexico), TDN (Mexico), Azteca 7 (Mexico), Canal 5 Televisa (Mexico),

Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription), Sling TV, Univision NOW

Lineups

Toluca FC: Alfredo Talavera; Cristian Borja, Santiago García (Gabriel Hauche, 68’), Osvaldo González, Rodrigo Salinas; Antonio Ríos, Leonel López (Ángel Reyna, 46’); Luis Quiñones, Pablo Barrientos (Alexis Canelo, 30’), Rubens Sambueza; Fernando Uribe

Santos Laguna: Jonathan Orozco; Jesús Angulo, Gerardo Alcoba, Carlos Izquierdoz, José Abella; Brian Lozano, Osvaldo Martínez (Jorge Villafaña, 55’), José Juan Vázquez, Javier Cortés (Diego De Buen, 55’); Julio Fucrh, Djaniny Tavares (Jonathan Rodríguez, 66’)

Scoring: Toluca FC - Gabriel Hauche (82’); Santos Laguna - Julio Furch (10’)

Disciplinary: Toluca FC - Fernando Uribe (Yellow - 34’), Luis Quiñones (Yellow - 74’), Rubens Sambueza (Yellow - 84’), Gabriel Hauche (90+4’); Santos Laguna - Osvaldo Martínez (Yellow - 42’), Jonathan Rodríguez (Yellow - 73’), Jesús Angulo (Yellow - 77’), Jonathan Orozco (Yellow - 85’)