By DANIEL PRICE
Club Leon and Pachuca go head-to-head Thursday in the first leg of the Liga MX 2014 Clausura final. The second leg will take place on Sunday evening.
Leon were lucky to finish eighth in the regular season having relied on some fortunate results in games involving Chivas, Queretaro, Puebla, and Atlas on the final day of the regular season. They had decided to focus on their Copa Libertadores campaign for much of 2014 and their domestic form suffered, but after eliminating both the league leaders Cruz Azul and the league runners up Toluca they are now the favorites to win the trophy for the second time in six months.
Pachuca only arrived in the playoffs thanks to a miraculous comeback on the final day of the regular season.
Facing Queretaro in the Estadio La Corregidora, Pachuca was losing 3-0 with fifteen minutes remaining, only for braces from both Esqueda and Carreno to give them an incredible 4-3 victory. If Queretaro had held on, they would have gone into the Liguilla at Pachuca’s expense. Pachuca boast the country’s top scorer in Ecuadorian Enner Valencia, and they will hope that he can add a couple more to his current tally of twelve before he leaves for Brazil this summer.
The game marks a battle between two sides owned by Carlos Slim’s Grupo Pachuca. With Mexico slowly trying to phase out multi-club ownership his role is certain to provide an interesting backdrop.
Here’s a full rundown of the schedule, complete with TV listings:
9:05pm – Club Leon vs Pachuca – Telemundo
9pm – Pachuca vs Club Leon – UniMas