Leon completely dominated FC Tauro in the second leg of their Round of 16 series to get a 2-0 win at home. With their 1-0 away victory in the first leg, they were heavy favorites to make it through, and they did. Leon are now through to the quarterfinal round of the competition.
The match started with both teams hoping for a better performance than the first leg. Leon came out with an alternate starting 11 just like they did against Tauro in Panama City. La Fiera came real close when a cross into the area was headed by Jose Alvarado and hit the post. The ball then fell into the path of Brian Rubio who missed an empty net chance, although it looked like he was fouled, but the ref didn’t give it. Later, a through pass to Elias Hernandez allowed him to get near the area and get a good pass into the path of a wide open Brian Rubio, who easily slotted the ball past Tauro’s goalkeeper Hughes. Soon after, Tauro thought they had scored a goal, but it was ruled offside. Although the visitors tried to respond, they could barely create any danger. Ivan Moreno would get off a great shot from outside the area that would go just wide. Just prior to halftime, Leon got a counter attack and Elias Hernandez got into the area to fire off a shot past Hughes for the goal and the 2-0 lead. It was the last play of the half.
The second 45 began with Tauro subbing out Luis Asprilla and for Omar Browne. The first notable play of the half was a cross into the area that was headed in from close range by Rubio, but was called offside. Replays showed the goal should’ve counted, but in a bad decision, no goal was given. A free kick from the visitors forced Leon’s keeper Rodolfo Cota to make a save. Late in the game, Hernandez looked to have been tripped up in the area, but no PK was given. In the end, Leon made quick work and booked their ticket, as expected, to the quarterfinals.
Leon were up to the challenge considering they did this with an alternate squad. While the team still needs much improvement in order to be a better candidate to the title, they should still be heavy favorites as they face Violette, the surprise team of the tournament who upset MLS squad Austin FC this past week. Although it was a big surprise for them to eliminate the Texas side and look to be inspired, they are heavy underdogs and are an inferior team to FC Tauro, who lost both legs against Leon. They will also be hurt by the fact that they won’t play a true home game because of their country’s political situation. Their “home” match will be played in a neutral field, most likely in the Dominican Republic. Thus, Leon look set up to get to the semifinals, barring another huge upset.