Miguel Sabah (green jersey), who has five career CONCACAF Champions League goals, scored in Leon's 4-0 Liga MX win over Morelia on August 2, 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)
LEON, Mexico -- After opening the 2014 Mexican Apertura season with a pair of frustrating losses, Leon exploded for a 4-0 win over visiting Morelia on Saturday.
The victory gave the two-time defending Liga MX champion a big lift heading into its CONCACAF Champions League debut at Isidro Metapan on Tuesday in San Salvador, El Salvador.
“This victory fills us with great confidence, it came at the best time,” Leon goalkeeper William Yarbrough said after the match. “We’re very happy, but we have to amend some errors that we are still committing.”
Despite missing starters Rafael Marquez and Mauro Boselli to injury, Leon struck for four second-half goals. Yamilson Rivera started the avalanche in the 55th minute with a rising shot from the top of the 18-yard box.
“Well, I was very happy that it was a beautiful goal,” Rivera commented. “Thank you all for your support and I hope not to disappoint. The team improved and that’s what matters.”
Carlos Peña doubled Leon’s advantage in the 73rd minute, while Jose Maria Cardenas and Miguel Sabah followed with a pair of goals in a five-minute span to put the game away.
“Morelia played well in the first first half, generating several scoring opportunities,” Leon head coach Gustavo Matosas said. “For the second half, they started better, but fortunately Yamilson appeared, controlled the ball, took advantage of the movement of his partner and took a good shot. From there on, they were not as organized and we capitalized.”
Leon, which won both the 2013 Apertura and the 2014 Clausura titles, is making its first appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League.