Join soccerly to save and share the best soccer stories
Sign up with Facebook
By login in with Facebook you agree on the terms and conditions specified here

MATCHES
 
 
 
 
5
   
 
10
   
 
5
   
 
0
   
 
0
   
02/12/2014
 
With goals from Mauro Boselli and Franco Araiza, the current Liga MX champions and bedrock for the Mexican National Team defeated the legendary Brasileiro squad Flamengo with a 2-1 scoreline in their Copa Libertadores debut. Leon's completely sold out Nou Camp was the perfect atmosphere for this historic tournament.

It was a match that didn't really meet the high level expectations that the public hoped for, but Leon struggled their way to what should have been an easy victory after the visitors were left with one man less on the field after only 12 minutes of play.

Carlos "Gullit" Peña was off target all evening. The celebrated midfielder that has caused quite a stir in the Mexican media and abroad for his exceptional Apertura 2013 season failed to convert any of his shots into a goal and also miscalculated several passes, missing this way several opportunities for his team. 

The Mexican defense clearly didn't have their head in the game, and allowed many dangerous counter-attacks from a limping Brazilian squad that was still struggling to adjust their formation after losing one of their players to a red card. Add into the mix that goalkeeper Yarbrough committed various mistakes that could be attributed to a rookie, such as abandoning his position unnecessarily several times. Leon can be grateful that Flamengo's finishing abilities were failing them that night.

Club Leon started the match aggressively as soon as the whistle was blown, Mauro Boselli took the right wing and ran the ball all the way up to the penalty box where he crossed to Matias Britos, who was just inches short from reaching the ball in the opening 20 seconds. 

But only five minutes later, Brazilian midfielder Everton, set up Hernane with a ball the forward headed towards goal, only to be deflected towards the crossbar by Mexican-American sensation William Yarbrough.   

After that defensive slip-up, the 'Panzas Verdes' started to put more pressure on front, forcing Flamengo into some sloppy plays that would end up in an unnecessary and nasty foul on Luis Montes. Brazilian midfielder Amaral lifted his leg looking for an air ball but landed his boot right on Luis Montes' crotch, leaving the Mexican writhing in crippling pain on the floor. Amaral earned himself a straight red card that nobody argued, thus leaving Flamengo with one man less and still 78 minutes of game left.

The Brazilian squad, started to fall back on the pitch and started defending with 10 men. The excessive and strong marking would betray Flamengo once more and in the 31st minute Hernane would pull down Ignacio "Nacho" Gonzalez inside the penalty box, granting the home team a penalty kick.

Mauro Boselli took the shot and fooled Felipe who threw himself to the other side of the ball. The Brazilian keeper earned himself a yellow card for exchanging some strong words with the referee. Things couldn't be going better for Leon.

But the current Liga MX champions started leaving open spaces unattended and Flamengo took notice of this slip-up. It took Flamengo only 11 minutes to find the equalizer. Elano put the ball inside the penalty box where Paraguayan midfielder Victor Caceres headed towards goal, beating Yarbrough in the process in a play that caused controversy due to a confusing whistle before the goal, that was blown by the referee.

Flamengo's goal was validated, apparently, former Barcelona star defender and Mexican international Rafael Marquez, fouled a Flamengo player inside the penalty box, so the referee blew the whistle to call the penalty, but since the play ended in goal for Flamengo, regardless of the foul, the referee took back Marquez's foul and just granted the visitors their goal.

In the second half, Leon closed their spaces in order to prevent another surprise from the Brazilian squad and started moving forward through a game of ball retention and accurate passing. The same pressure that Leon applied on Flamengo during the first half to provoke the Brazilians into a desperate state of mind, was applied during the second half. And just like before, Flamengo were forced into another defensive mistake, when Andre Santos knocked down Franco Arizala inside the penalty box and Leon was granted their second penalty kick of the game.

Mauro Boselli was again in charge of executing the kick, but the Argentinian chew more than he could swallow, when he chipped the ball in "Panenka" style and Felipe guessed the striker's intentions and deflected the ball out of danger. Leon manager Gustavo Matosas was left throwing a fit on the sidelines because of Boselli's choice of executing the kick.

Seven minutes later, Colombian striker Franco Arizala, would redeem the Guanajuato team, when in a 180 degree turn, he rifled a rebound inside the penalty box in order to break the tie. This goal, devastated Flamengo and Leon started to completely control the game.

Arizala and Boselli started looking for the third goal in the final minutes of the match, but the Argentinian was completely off target for the second half. The match died out with Leon showing a clear superiority over the Brazilian squad.

The result, leaves Leon as the temporary group 7 leaders with 3 points, and will await the result between group rivals, Emelec and Bolivar who face each other on Thursday, February, 19.


 
1