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Recap of Liga MX's quarter-finals of the Apertura 2015 tournament featuring Club America, Leon, Tigres, Toluca and Pumas
Liga MX Liguilla: Veracruz stun Pumas, wins for Tigres and America
America vs Leon, Quarter Finals, Liga MX

By Dan Price

The first leg of the quarter-finals were played this week, with the return fixtures due to take place on Saturday and Sunday evening.

Here’s Soccerly’s wrap of all the action:

America 4-1 Leon

Dario Benedetto, Club America

The Liguilla opener saw America produce one of the finest performances of the season as they easily swept aside Leon at the Estadio Azteca.

Aguilas fans were understandably a bit apprehensive ahead of the game; Leon were considered to be one of the strongest sides in the playoff and a title contender. It was expected to be a tight game.

Their apprehension initially seemed well-founded – Leon took an early lead through Juan Gonzalez and should have doubled their moments later.

To their credit, America quickly rediscovered their composure, and thereafter it was one-way traffic. Goals from Paolo Goltz, Paul Aguilar, and Dario Benedetto made it 3-1 at the break, and a second half free-kick from Michael Arroyo made sure America will take a near-insurmountable advantage into Saturday’s second leg.

Tigres UANL 2-1 Chiapas

Andre Gignac's goal against Jaguares

Tigres squeaked through against Chiapas in a fierce tactical battle at El Volcan.

They needed a first half golazo from Andre-Pierre Gignac and late winner from Damian Alvarez to take the victory, with Chiapas close to taking an important draw after Juan Insaurralde’s second half equalizer.

It was a game to forget for Tigres full-back Israel Jimenez, with his slip in the build-up to Chiapas’ goal evoking memories of a similar error in the Liguilla quarter-final against Monterrey in the Clausura of 2013.

The tie is on a knife-edge; Chiapas’ higher finishing position in the regular season means a 1-0 or 2-1 win would send them through.

Veracruz 1-0 Pumas UNAM

Veracruz vs Pumas, Quarter Finals, Liga MX

The shock of the round came at the Estadio Luis de la Fuente on Thursday evening, as eighth place Veracruz scored an early goal through Daniel Villalba to sink regular season winners Pumas.

In truth, Pumas were poor for long periods of the match, and were lucky to escape with just a one goal deficit. 

Veracruz had multiple first half chances to extend their lead and also saw two goals disallowed. Pumas ‘keeper Alejandro Palacios walked away with a deserved man of the match award.

The win and a clean sheet gives Los Tiburones Rojos a significant advantage ahead of Sunday’s return game, with a goal for the visitors meaning Pumas would need to score thre

Puebla 2-2 Toluca

Puebla vs Toluca, Quarter Finals, Liga MX

Toluca went into the final quarter final as heavy favorites against a Puebla side that were making their first post-season appearance in six years.

At half time it appeared that everything was going to plan, as goals from Omar Arellano and Fernando Uribe gave the visitors a commanding 2-0 lead.

Luis Rey pulled one back five minutes after the restart, and Toluca suddenly started to look nervous in front of a re-energized Estadio Cuauhtemoc crowd. Both sides had chances, but it took until the 87th minute for 

Robert Herrera to bag the game’s fourth goal and complete a remarkable comeback.

With two away goals and the benefit of the tie-breaker, Toluca remain favorites to progress, but Puebla could yet pull off an upset.

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