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Liga MX: Santos Laguna Take A Lead, Toluca Still Have Hope

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Djaniny Tavares of Santos celebrates after scoring against Toluca during the first leg of final of the Mexican Clausura 2018 tournament football, match at the TSM Corona stadium in Torreon, Mexico on May 17, 2018 (Photo by Julio Cesar AGUILAR / AFP) (Photo credit should read JULIO CESAR AGUILAR/AFP/Getty Images)

The first leg of the Liga MX final has concluded and we are left with an exciting finish coming to Toluca, Mexico. Santos Laguna ended up being too poised for Toluca but it doesn’t mean Toluca has been left without their hopes of capturing their 11th title.

Here’s how the first leg unfolded…

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It didn’t take long to get the fans off their feet in the first game of the Liga MX final. Both teams had big opportunities to score at the beginning of the match, specifically two near scores for Toluca who ended up a bit unlucky. After those opening minutes, the game slowed down a bit, at least in terms of the back and forth attacks.

Toluca returned to a smart collective defensive effort between the defenders and midfielders. They had no problems with midfielders supporting their backline, although it meant fewer opportunities with their attacking chances.

The two teams went into the locker room at halftime tied, 0-0

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The second half got underway and it was a different story from what we saw in the first half. Toluca landed the first haymaker when Luis Quiñones broke free for a shot on the left side which went past Jonathan Orozco to give the road team a 1-0 lead.

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Santos Laguna stayed calm and they showed why they made it to the final. In the 71st minute, their scoring machine in Djaniny caused havoc on Toluca, causing Alfredo Talavera to make a silly mistake in coming out of the area to try and stop the scoring chance. Djaniny calmly put away the first goal for Santos Laguna with no keeper in net.

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Santos Laguna didn’t stop at 1-1. In the 89th minute, Julio Furch got his foot on a cross and scored a late goal to give the home team a 2-1 lead, ultimately giving them the victory. Santos Laguna did everything right after going down 0-1 and now have a 2-1 advantage going into the second leg.

Toluca is not dead in the water, however, as they are coming home with only a one goal deficit. At home, they have the elevation and home crowd to give them a strong boost while facing the team from the north. We are left with an exciting build up to a final leg in Liga MX.

The final match will be played on Sunday, May 20th at 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

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