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Toluca vs Atlas has ended goalless in the last two meetings, and a similar result could be on the cards this weekend. However, since both sides are desperately in need of points at either end of the playoffs battle, we could be in for a high-paced, end-to-end game that could involve both goals and cards.
The last five meetings between these teams in the league have seen Toluca win twice and Atlas pick up one win. But the two goalless draws were far from exciting. In the February 2021 clash, there were 27 attempts at goal but only one shot was on target!
It was a similar story when the two sides met in August as well, as they managed just 4 shots on goal. To make this worse, Atlas were awarded a penalty deep into injury time, and Julio Furch had his spot kick saved by Luis García.
Both sides have been struggling for points in their last few games and have just one win each in their last 5. But at the business end of the tournament, we expect at least one of them to be able to put aside the profligacy of the past and make a mark when it matters. Atlas, chasing a top 4 spot, might have the advantage on that front.
Toluca are outside the top 12 right now and need a win at all costs to get into the playoffs. They have just two games left this season, and their final clash will be against Club Leon – the side right above them in the table.
However, they will prefer not to take things into the final game of the season, as Leon could go 4 points clear if they win this weekend. Moreover, Toluca could also slip to 15th in the table if the teams below them pick up wins.
Marcos Ignacio Ambriz Espinoza’s side have truly struggled for points in the last 5 matches and will find it hard to make it to the playoffs. They have won just once and lost twice in those matches, including a shock 1-0 loss to Juarez, who are at the bottom of the table.
Toluca’s own last win this season was another shock result in the Liga MX, as they stunned first-place hopefuls, Puebla. The opponents were battling for the top spot in the table when Toluca sprung a surprise and won 2-1. Kevin Castañeda and Valber Huerta got on the scoresheet in the first half before Israel Reyes pulled one back for the away side. The goal proved to be nothing more than a consolation as Toluca held on and won.
The result should have given the players a lot of confidence, but that seemed to go missing for large parts of their next game. They drew 2-2 against Monterrey and needed an injury-time goal to get that point. Leonardo Fernández got Toluca level after Maximiliano Meza handed the away side the lead, but Joel Campbell made it 2-1 before half time. Fernandez was to the rescue once again and scored 10 minutes into injury time to seal a dramatic draw.
Fans expected the player to regain their confidence, but it was missing against CD Guadalajara too. José Macías scored a minute after coming on in the second half, and that seemed likely to be the winner. Fernandez was once again required to do the rescue job for Toluca and scored in injury time for the second game running to make it 1-1.
Tigres UNAL and Juarez have since handed them back-to-back losses, leaving Toluca in a must-win situation for their last two games. Sitting in 13th with 18 points, perhaps their only solace at the moment is that Leon, in 19 points, are in worse form than they are in with three losses in a row.
Atlas were looking set to challenge for the top spot when the season had begun, as they went on an incredible unbeaten run. They had won three and drawn three of their first six matches and were one of the teams to beat.
Club Tijuana took that to heart and handed them their first loss in late February. Marcel Ruíz and Christian Rivera scored early in the first half and that was enough for them to pick up a 2-0 win and walk away with all three points.
Current league leaders Pachuca handed Atlas their second loss of the season in the very next game, but they did have to battle hard for it. Roberto de la Rosa scored the lone goal of the match with just minutes left on the clock, leaving the home side with no chance to fight back.
The tragic crowd incidents at Querétaro followed for Atlas in their next scheduled game, and they were awarded all three points for the game. They were leading 1-0 via Julio Furch when the violence broke out, and Liga MX decided to take action and award them the win.
Julio Furch was once again on the score sheet after Julián Quiñones handed Atlas the lead in the first half of their match against Juarez. Fernando Arce Jr pulled one back for the home side, but was not able to inspire a comeback, and they eventually ended up losing 2-1.
Julián Quiñones scored a late dramatic equalizer for Atlas in their next game against Guadalajara but was sent off seconds later. Both sides were already a man down after Jairo Torres and Miguel Ponce were sent off in the first half.
Atlas have not been at their best in the last 4 matches, but have managed to get four points. They lost 1-0 to Cruz Azul first but bounced back with a 2-1 win over Club Necaxa. Julián Quiñones and Julio Furch were on the scoresheet again and Rodrigo Aguirre’s goal for the away side proved to be a consolation.
They were stunned by Mazatlan in the following game after Gonzalo Sosa scored two goals in the first half. Julio Furch pulled one back for Atlas but was sent off later in the game which ended 2-1. With their main striker out, Atlas could not break the Monterrey defense and drew 0-0 this week, thus missing out on their chance of making it into the top 4. With two games to go, and their last one being at home, they’ll be keen to wrap up a win here and make sure that it will be a joyous occasion for their supporters on the final day of the league.
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|Toluca vs Atlas Information|
|Teams||Toluca vs Atlas|
|Location||Estadio Nemesio Diez|
|Time||Sunday, April 24 at 1pm 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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