Club América were able to salvage a win in the last minute against León, but they let so many opportunities pass them all game. The Águilas will now focus on the CONCACAF Champions Cup second leg against Real Estelí at home. On the other hand, León will prepare for their league match against Atlas where it is unknown if Andrés Guardado will face his ex-team, considering he left the match in the first half due to injury.
América were a bit slow to start the game until the 12th minute when Diego Valdés took a shot at goal, but it ended up in the arms of Alfonso Blanco. A minute later, Julián Quiñones had his own chance as he got between two León players, but Osvaldo Rodríguez was there to take the ball away before Quiñones could control it and get a shot off. Two minutes later, Quiñones had another chance, but before he could create any kind of danger, he had the ball stripped. In the 25th minute, Sebastian Cáceres blocked a shot where León seemed primed to score.
Minutes later, Federico Viñas was in the box where he attempted to get to a ball that rolled away, but before he could reach it, Luis Ángel Malagón got to the ball first. In the 34th minute, América had another dangerous chance for a goal as Brian Rodríguez made his way into the box, but his shot was deflected by Osvaldo Rodríguez and fortunately for him, the ball missed the goal, avoiding an own goal. Minutes later a controversial no-call against the Águilas occured when the ball hit Igor Lichnocky’s hand in the penalty area, but nothing was called. Not even VAR looked at the call. This no-call came into play near the end of the game. Two minutes after the non-call, Quiñones had the best chance of the game, but he was stopped due to Jaine Barreiro who fell to the ground and was in the way of Quiñones getting the ball into the back of the net. A back and forth went on for the remaining minutes of the half with neither team able to score.
While León had more chances in the first half, América were the ones that controlled the second. The visitors had the best shot of the half when on a free kick, Valdés went straight for goal, but Blanco stopped it on the line. A few minutes later, Javairo Dilrosun made his debut for the team and immediately made a difference alongside Jonathan ‘Cabecita’ Rodríguez, who was also subbed into the game at the same time. Two minutes in, ‘Cabecita’ passed a ball to Quiñones who had a great opportunity, but hit it too soft and Blanco was able to send the ball out for a corner.
In the 68th minute, Dilrosun had his own chance as he sent a ball towards goal, but Blanco was once again there to make the save. A minute later, León had their own chance, but Malagón made a critical save. In the 87th minute, Quiñones had a chance as he sent a ball towards goal, but the ball went just wide. As the game rolled into stoppage time, it looked as if the game would end in a scoreless draw until controversy hit. América were awarded a corner kick, but the referee was then called to the monitor. Upon another review, the ball, which was sent in for a corner for the Águilas, hit Ramón Juárez’s head and then Jaine Barreiro’s arm. The referee then awarded the visitors with the PK.
11 pasos que marcaron la victoria pic.twitter.com/ZPQIyfeMlw— Liga BBVA MX (@LigaBBVAMX) February 11, 2024
‘Cabecita’ stepped up to take the penalty. He kicked the ball with a lot of power as he sent the ball flying towards the back of the net. While Blanco guessed the right way, he was not able to save it and América went up 1-0. The last two minutes of the game were spent with the Águilas defending their area while León attempted a last minute equalizer that they were unable to find. León had the chance to draw América and even possibly win, but they could not bury any of their chances while the visitors buried their chance on the penalty. Now both teams look towards their next games after a bad performance on the field.
León: A. Blanco; L. Cervantes, J. Barreiro, A. Farias, O. Rodriguez; A Mena, A. Guardado, F. AMbriz, E. Hernandez; F. Viñas, N. Lopez.
Club América: A. Malagon; C. Calderon, S. Cáceres, I. Lichnovsky, I. Reyes; A. Fidalgo, J. Dos Santos, B. Rodriguez, D. Valdés, A. Zendejas; J. Quiñones.