León took the lead but couldn’t hold it as Monarcas Morelia came back to earn a 1-2 win in the second leg of this quarterfinal series. That result puts La Monarquía through to the semifinals with a 5-4 aggregate victory.
The 3-3 draw from the first leg made this game a winner-takes-all affair, but the onus to score was all on Morelia since the tiebreakers meant all León needed to advance was a 0-0 draw. Both teams came out attacking, though, and Rodolfo Cota and Sebastián Sosa were both kept busy in their respective goals.
Despite the chances, it wasn’t until the second half that the breakthrough came. In the 51st minute, Ismael Sosa got free on the right and sent a shot towards goal from a narrow angle; Sosa got a hand to it but couldn’t keep it out as León took the 1-0 (4-3 aggregate) lead.
It looked like León was in control of the series, but then, in the 66th minute, Morelia tied it up. Miguel Ángel Sansores headed home a cross to make it 1-1 (4-4); while that scoreline still favored the hosts, it put the visitors within striking distance and also changed the momentum of the game. Suddenly, Morelia was inspired and León was nervous.
One more goal for Morelia would completely change things – and it came just five minutes later. In the 71st minute, Edison Flores took a shot from outside the box, with a deflection off the defense helping it past the keeper to give Morelia the 1-2 (4-5) lead – putting the michoacanos in front for the first time in this series.
León needed another goal, but Morelia was able to manage the game and frustrate the hosts. The game was interrupted by discriminatory chanting from the stands, and the required suspension of play disrupted the rhythm León was trying to create.
Those disruptions also meant 7 minutes of stoppage time were posted. León pressed forward with ever-increasing desperation, and in the 98th minute Ángel Mena sent the stadium into ecstasy when he put the ball in the back of the net – and seemed to have put León into the semifinals. But after VAR review, the would-be goal was disallowed for a foul, leaving Morelia still in the lead.
León continued to press as the clock continued to tick on, and they came as close as hitting the crossbar; but in the end, after 12 minutes of stoppage time, the final whistle blew with Morelia still ahead.
With the 1-2 (4-5 aggregate) win, Morelia advances to the semifinals while León is eliminated.