Dorados de Sinaloa earned a 0-2 victory over Necaxa in the second leg of the Final Por el Ascenso Promotion Playoff, which secured them a spot in Liga MX with a 3-1 aggregate victory.
The 1-1 draw from the first leg left everything to play for here in the second. With no tiebreaking criteria to apply, tonight’s game was a simple case of winner-takes-all. Another draw by any margin would have sent it to extra time, and for a while it looked like that’s where it was headed. However, a late brace by Raúl Enríquez changed everything.
Necaxa had the first dangerous chance of the game, when a defensive mistake allowed Roger Rojas to break through the back line and get one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but Alfredo Frausto was able to parry his shot away.
That was virtually the only chance of note for the hosts in the first half, while the visitors were limited to a late free kick that was saved by the keeper. The opening 45 minutes were tense and cagey, with neither team wanting to give anything up.
In the second half, Necaxa threatened again, with Carlos Hurtado getting around his defender to send a cross in for José Joaquin Martínez, but the ball never quite made it into the net.
The clock continued to tick and the specter of extra time began to loom. But then Raúl Enríquez appeared in the box and headed home a cross from Vinicio Angulo, giving Dorados the lead in the 77th minute.
Necaxa immediately began pressing for an equalizer, but as they desperately threw numbers forward, they left space to exploit in the back. Sinaloa struck on the counterattack in the 81st minute, with Enríquez completing his brace to definitively seal the tie.
In the pouring rain, Necaxa kept fighting, but the goals just wouldn’t come. Jesús Isijara came closest, but his stoppage-time bicycle kick whistled just wide of the far post. Enríquez’s brace was too much to overcome, and the Rayos fell 0-2 in front of their fans.
With the 0-2 (1-3) victory, Dorados de Sinaloa wins promotion and returns to Liga MX after a nine-year absence.