Toluca FC defeated Atlas 3-1 at the Jalisco stadium Saturday in the final game of the day of week 10 in La Liga MX. With the victory Toluca reclaims the top spot of the Apertura 2012 league table.
Earlier in the day Club Tijuana had taken sole possession of the lead but were overtaken by the chorizeros on goal differential. Both teams have 23 points.
Atlas hit the pitch with full force sending the strike team of Chilean Hector Mancilla and Matias Vuoso as the team forwards. Coach Tomas Boy was coming off of three draws. A spectacular game that kept top performer Club Tijuana at bay to a draw last week at Caliente stadium inspired the rojinegros to search for the home win.
The fans were excited seeing their team attack, Boy was a cheerleader on the coach’s box. But Toluca boss Enrique Meza had lined up a good defense. After 19 minutes of play the red devils broke through the defense. The home team was missing a pair of players in the back line due to injury.
“We had to make changes to accommodate injured players,” Boy said at the press conference after the game. “I had to put players in positions they normally do not play in. It’s all on me, but a team cannot lose three starters, especially if they are defenders. They are supposed to be the “seal” that keeps the goals out.”
At minute 19, Antonio Naelson Zinha started the play in midfield, passed the ball and received it back within seconds. He moved around a pair of defenders and crossed the ball past goalkeeper Miguel Pinto to put the game 1-0 in favor of the visiting squad.
Slowly Toluca began to take apart Atlas’ defense. In less than five minutes Toluca put the second goal on the board. Zinha again started the play. He filtered the ball to Lucas Silva who passed to Panamanian Luis Tejada. The recently arrived Tejada did a half spin and fired past a sliding Christian Sanchez who could not prevent the ball from entering Pinto’s net. Toluca was up 2-0.
Then the adrenaline kicked in for the local squad. They had the crowd behind them and wanted to get on the board. For the second half Toluca fell back to defend their lead, this gave Atlas the opportunity to increase their attack. This again enthused the fans who chanted in hopes their team would get on the board. But the red devils never lost their composure and kept a solid defense.
With a few minutes to go Mancilla received a pass in the area. He dropped it with his chest and executed goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera to close the gap 2-1. The stadium went wild since Atlas had controlled the game in the final minutes. It looked like the home squad could at least take the draw.
With Atlas attacking, Toluca cleared a ball that Brazilian Wilson Thiago took to the opposite side of the field. With little resistance Thiago put the ball past Pinto to knock the wind out of Atlas and the stadium in compensation time. A valiant effort by Boy’s team, but they fall for the first time under his leadership. Toluca takes command of the league table with 23 points passing Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente on goal differential.
The rest of the league:
America 1, Morelia 1
Queretaro 0, Tijuana 1
Pachuca 1, Guadalajara 0
Tigres UANL 0, San Luis FC 0