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Club León and Toluca have played out a draw in 3 of their last 5 meetings, and we could see a similar result this weekend. The two sides have not been doing well in the league this season and are still fighting to make it to the playoffs.
However, Leon will be the one going in with confidence as they have beaten Toluca twice in the last 5 meetings. They managed a 2-1 win in 2021, and the win before that was back in 2019 – a 4-0 win at home.
Right at halftime, Michael Estrada handed Toluca the lead in the 2021 meeting. Club Leon came back from the break stronger and were more determined to get the win. Jaine Barreiro scored after just 7 minutes before Ángel Mena converted from the rebound after missing his penalty.
The 4-0 win back in 2019 was an absolutely dominating win. Club Leon had the ball for 76% of the game and took 16 shots at goal – of which 11 were on target. Jean Meneses, Yairo Moreno, Iván Ochoa and José Macías scored the goals for the home side in a truly one sided game.
However, one factor to consider is that Toluca would displace Leon in the playoff qualification spots if they managed to beat them this weekend. That may or may not result in qualification based on how all the other teams who are vying for the spot go in the final round, but it is a pretty large incentive for playing beyond their usual capabilities.
On the flip side, there is pressure on Leon because they have the most to lose in this game. Expect a tense match where both teams will be prone to errors because of the intensity of the fixture. We think they will both get on the score sheet at the very least.
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Club Leon needed 6 points in their last 6 matches to seal the playoff spots, and they are still chasing it on the final day of the season. They have picked up just two points in the last 5 matches, and that has put them in a must-win situation against Toluca.
The win over Mazatlan in their final game in March was the last time they won a game, and they have been on a 5-match winless streak since then. They had relatively easy fixtures too, but have somehow fumbled and gotten themselves in a tough spot.
The drop-in form started with the 1-1 draw against Queretaro at home. Pablo Barrera handed the visitors the unlikely lead right at the end of the first half, but Ángel Mena leveled things up midway through the second half. Despite dominating possession, they were unable to push on for a winner and ended up drawing the game.
Things got worse in the next game as they lost 2-0 to Atletico de San Luis. The opponents were struggling for points this season but were able to get the win over Club Leon easily. Germán Berterame and Jhon Murillo were on the scoresheet for the home side.
It just kept getting worse for Leon as they were down to 10-men after just 5 minutes in their match against Puebla. Pedro Hernández was shown the red card, and Fernando Aristeguieta scored minutes before the halftime whistle to give the visitors the lead.
Puebla had two players – Pablo Parra and Alberto Herrera – sent off in the second half, but that did not help Leon, and they ended up losing 1-0.
The lack of results were getting to the players, and they were trying their best to take out the frustration on the pitch. Leon had 2 red cards in three games, and that number kept increasing. José Rodríguez, Victor Dávila, and William Tesillo were sent off in the 2-0 loss to Club America – making it three defeats on the bounce and 6 red cards in 3 games!
Despite having a number of players suspended, Club Leon managed to end their losing streak against Santos Laguna. Ángel Mena helped them take the lead in the game before Eduardo Aguirre equalized early in the second half. Both sides were unable to break each other down after that, and it ended in a 1-1 draw.
Leon can qualify for the playoffs even if they lose, but will need Pumas UNAM, Mazatlan, and Santos Laguna to drop points as well. A draw puts them in a moderately safe position, but a win will throw all calculations out of the window.
Toluca have been on a similar run as Club Leon, and that has not been helpful at all. They needed to take advantage of the sides above them dropping points, but unfortunately, they have just managed to replicate the results. Instead, they’ve ended up becoming the leakiest defense in the league by a long way, conceding 32 from 16 games – the next worst defensive performance in the league is 24 goals conceded by three other teams. That means their goal difference is practically irredeemable at this point, and they need the three teams ahead of them – one of them being Leon – to all drop points while they pick up a win in their final game.
When Toluca pulled off a stunning 2-1 win over top 4 chasers Puebla in the first game of April, many believed they would easily make it to the playoffs. Fast forward to the end of the month, and they are still in the same situation despite playing 5 more games.
Toluca needed an injury-time penalty to get a point from their game against Monterrey after going down 2-1 at halftime. Leonardo Fernández scored both goals of the game for the home side after Sebastián Vegas and Joel Campbell got on the scoresheet for the visitors.
CD Guadalajara were up next for Toluca, and it was a similar story. José Macías scored in the second half to hand the visitors the lead, and the home side looked down and out. Leonardo Fernández was the hero once again as he scored in injury time to earn them a point out of nowhere.
Things cannot happen in the same way in every single game, and Toluca found out the hard way. They did well in the first half against Tigres, but three goals in 13 second-half minutes saw the home side run away with the game and earn a 3-0 win over the visitors. Juan Vigón, Sebastián Córdova, and André-Pierre Gignac got on the scoresheet, and that was enough for them to get the win with no reply.
Toluca were then stunned by the bottom-placed Juarez in the next game. Gabriel Fernández scored with just seconds left on the clock – leaving the home side with no chance to make a comeback. Marcos Ignacio Ambriz Espinoza’s men had 14 shots on goal, but only 3 were on target. None of them managed to get past the keeper, and they ended up losing 1-0 despite dominating the game.
Valber Huerta handed Toluca an early lead against Atlas, but that did not prove effective. Aldo Rocha, Julián Quiñones, and Julio Furch made it 3-1 before the hour mark, and Isaias Violante only managed to pull one back with a minute left on normal time. As Toluca were chasing the draw, Julián Quiñones got his second of the game, and that sealed a 4-2 win for Atlas.
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|Club León vs Toluca Information
|Club León vs Toluca
|Sunday, May 1 at 9pm EST
|How to watch
|Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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