Puebla was able to come down from a 1-0 disadvantage to get a 2-1 victory in the first leg of their quarterfinal matchup against Leon. Leon got the lead after scoring the first goal of the Liguilla, but Puebla answered almost immediately and was able to get the victory. Leon are now forced to get a win at home in Sunday’s return leg against a Puebla side that looks inspired.
The first half started with Puebla coming out with the same lineup as they did against Chivas, but with defender Lucas Maia. Leon came with the best lineup they were used to. After a couple of even minutes, Maia got off a shot that forced Leon’s goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota to make a save. Then off a corner kick, the ball bounced off a Puebla defender and fell for Stiven Bareiro to get to it, and with a left footed shot he knocked it past Puebla’s goalkeeper Anthony Silva. Puebla answered almost immediately however when a cross into the area found Gustavo Ferrareis, who made Cota come out and sent a shot into the area that Pablo Parra was able to connect with and score into the open net for the 1-1 tie. After the first two Liguilla games finished scoreless, it took just three minutes for the first two goals to be scored. Leon then looked to have scored through Angel Mena, but it was clearly offside and was correctly ruled to be so. Puebla then missed a great chance when Maxi Araujo’s shot was saved by Cota in a play where Araujo should have done better. Leon then had a chance when volley from Andres Mosquera in the area was blocked by a Puebla defender. Later on a corner kick, Mosquera again got close with a close range shot that went inches wide. Although the game had started slow, it had improved a lot and had an exiting finish at halftime.
The second half started with both teams coming out with the same eleven players they started with. Leon had a good chance when a cross into the area found Bareiro, but he whiffed on the shot and it went wide. Then after a mistake in which Israel Reyes gave a pass right to Leon’s Omar Fernandez in his own area, he got off a shot that went wide. After an injury, Cristian Tabo had to leave the game in what was a big loss for Puebla. Guillermo Martinez came in for him, and Puebla also subbed out George Corral for Alberto Herrera. Martinez had an incredible miss when after a cross into the area he got a left footed shot from close range, but it was blocked by Cota’s right foot. After a harsh foul from Reyes got him a yellow card, players from Leon started to protest and a fan threw a big block of ice that hit Santiago Colombatto. Leon subbed out Omar Fernandez and Victor Davila for Fernando Navarro and Emanuel Gigliotti. Then after a long ball off a counter, Maxi Araujo got the ball and went into the area. There he hit a strong left footed shot past Cota for the 2-1 lead. Puebla then subbed out Pablo Parra for Amaury Escoto. Araujo got into the area and took a shot that went just wide. After a couple of last minutes where Leon tried to get the tying goal, Puebla was able to hold on to get the victory.
In a game that finally had goals being scored after Wednesday’s two scoreless ties, Puebla was able to come back and get the victory. Puebla were slightly better, but Leon was always in the match and will be a tough foe on Sunday. Yet the pressure will be on them, since Puebla has already gone through a Chivas team that had a lot of fans behind them although this will be their first post season match outside Puebla. Leon should still be favored on Sunday, but the fact that a tie eliminates them might hurt their chances, and the pressure might force errors that Puebla would surely take advantage of.