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León top Club América in Liga MX Semifinals First Leg

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America v Leon - Playoffs Torneo Clausura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Club León earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over Club América in the first leg of their 2019 Liga MX Clausura Semifinals clash. The match was previously set to be played at the Estadio Azteca but was later moved to Querétaro’s Estadio Corregidora because of air pollution in Mexico City.

Things appeared to have begun to a flying start when a penalty was called for América in the seventh minute for a handball inside the box. In the end, the call came to nothing as the VAR was used to rule any intention of the León player purposely handling the ball inside the box.

In the 24th minute, León registered their first shot on target after Luis Montes sent a free kick right into Agustin Marchesin’s hands.

The game’s best chances looked to continue to come from set-pieces, as first Nico Castillo sent a free kick inches above León’s crossbar. Moments later, it was Leon’s turn when an Angel Mena free kick came arrowing narrowly wide of Marchesin’s goal.

In the second half, both teams sought to notch up the pace, and Las Águilas had their first big effort of the half when Nico Castillo came within inches from scoring inside the box.

América came close again when a speculative cross from Andres Ibarguen had to cleared right before goal line.

But for all of Club América’s chances, it would be León who opened the scoring. In the 70th minute, Rubens Sambueza appeared unmarked down the left wing before sending a cross for Jose Juan Macias, who only needed to tap the ball in to score.

Rodolfo Cota then proved to be a great contributor for La Fiera in the final 10 minutes of the match, making two crucial saves keep the clean sheet for Ignacio Ambriz’s men.

With the final whistle, León grabbed an important 1-0 victory away from home, one they will take into the second leg on Sunday at the Estadio Nou Camp.