Leon made quick work of Pumas to get a convincing 2-0 win, booking their ticket to the 2021 Leagues Cup final against the Seattle Sounders. Pumas went down to ten players after a red card five minutes in and had to battle all match with the disadvantage, which they failed to do. Leon should have finished the match but played well knowing they were a player up and having the confidence that brought. Leon will now face the Seattle Sounders in the final on September 22nd in Las Vegas.
The first half started with both teams coming out with their strongest starting lineups. In the first play of the game, Pumas had a good opportunity when after a pass, a wide open Favio Alvarez had a chance to shoot but he did a terrible job with it. Then five minutes into the game, Sebastian Saucedo had a harsh tackle that was judged to be a yellow card. The referee then went to VAR and judged it to be a red, meaning that Pumas was down a player just five minutes in. Pumas had a chance when a ball fell into the area, however Juan Ignacio Dinenno sent the ball into the stands. Then off a corner kick for Leon, Erik Lira did a terrible job in heading a ball that forced Pumas goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera to make a great save to stop an own goal. Unfortunately for him, the ball went into the path of Santiago Colombatto, who then scored into the open net for the 1-0 lead. Leon had taken the lead as expected once Pumas went down to ten players. Leon came close again when after a great cross, Angel Mena lowered the ball for Victor Davila, who got off a right footed shot that was saved by Talavera with his face. Leon came close again with another cross into the area that was volleyed by David Ramirez, but the ball went wide. Another cross into the area was volleyed by Jose Ramirez, but it too went wide. The game continued with Leon totally dominating the match as Pumas held on defensively but without any offense.
The second half started with Pumas subbing out Erik Lira and Alek Alvarez for Leonel Lopez and Alan Mozo. Pumas improved somewhat after the disastrous first half, but they were handled well by a Leon side that had the advantage. Leon subbed out Omar Fernandez and Jose Rodriguez for Luis Montes and Santiago Ormeño. Victor Davila then got wide open and got off a shot, but it was saved by Talavera. Pumas then subbed out Favio Alvarez for Washington Corozo. Then after a great run, Angel Mena made a great pass that found a wide open Santiago Ormeño in the area. Ormeño’s left footed shot went past Talavera for the 2-0 lead. Later on Ormeño had a great opportunity when a pass by Mena had him in front of Talavera but he squandered the chance and his bad shot went wide. Pumas would then sub out Juan Ignacio Dinenno and Higor Meritao for Jose Rogerio and Marco Garcia. Later on, Rogerio got a chance in the area but his shot was terrible and went wide. Leon then subbed out Angel Mena for Elias Hernandez. Pumas had another good chance when Corozo made a good pass to Marco Garcia but his shot went well wide, wasting a great opportunity. Leon then subbed out Osvaldo Rodriguez and Jose Ramirez for Andres Mosquera and Gil Burron. Leon had a chance when a shot by Jean Meneses was saved by Talavera. The play ended with the ball getting into the area and Ormeño scoring by Talavera. Replays showed that there was an offside, and after checking with VAR, it was rightly called off. Pumas had a great opportunity when Corozo found Rogerio in the area, but the ball was taken off his feet by Rodolfo Cota. This then led to another great opportunity for Leon, but Meneses made a bad pass in what could have led to a wide open shot for a Leon attacker. The referee blew the whistle to put Pumas out of their misery and gave Leon their ticket to the Leagues Cup final.
Leon have gotten their ticket to final in a well deserved performance. After crushing Sporting Kansas City in the Quarterfinals by a 6-1 score, they got a comfortable 2-0 win against Pumas. The match was distorted by Pumas going down to ten players, but that’s not Leon’s problem. Pumas on the other hand gave another terrible mark to their season’s terrible campaign. Although the Leagues Cup is far from a prestigious tournament for most fans, both teams went with their full squad proving that they wanted the silverware and the cash prize. Leon will now have to defend Liga MX in the Leagues Cup Final, although after America’s win over the Philadelphia Union meant that Liga MX would win a 16th consecutive CONCACAF Champions League, it will be only a secondary title at best if Seattle pulls it off.