Toluca Eliminate Alajualense to Reach CCL Final
Liga MX's Club Deportivo Toluca are the first finalist of the 2013/14 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League following their 2-0 (3-0 aggregate) win over Costa Rica's Liga Deportiva Alajualense. They now await to see who will be their rivals in the championship series; fellow Mexican clubs Cruz Azul and Tijuana Xolos will battle it out on Wednesday night for the other ticket.
The Mexican side had a achieved a 0-1 win in Costa Rica last week which allowed them to take this game in with a certain level of calmness. The visitors knew they needed to to score in order to maintain hopes and came out from the opening whistle with an aggressive game plan.
Toluca goalkeeper and Mexican National Team hopeful Alfredo Talavera had to come up with two big saves in the early minutes to keep his side in the lead. Toluca tried to attack via long distance shots as they lacked ideas during the opening minutes.
After absorbing the initial pressure from the visitors, Toluca managed to get a hold of the ball and calm the game down. They slowly build up their plays and made the visitors chase them around the Nemesio Diez field.
Carlos Esquivel opened up the score sheet on minute 34, when he went to pressure the Costa Rican defender into a big mistake. Esquivel stole the ball inside of the box and coolly slotted it past the goalkeeper.
For the second half the Mexican "Devils" kept up the slow build up pace and the control of the ball. Juan Manuel Salgueiro doubled the lead for the hosts in the 61st minute after pouncing on a rebound that was caused by an Isaac Brizuela shot that bounced off his teammate Pablo Velazquez.
If Toluca end up facing Cruz Azul in the championship series it will be a battle of Liga MX's first and second place teams of the league table; while if the opponent ends up being Tijuana Xolos, this will be a rematch of the Apertura 2012 final where the Xolos were crowned league champions.