Chivas and Toluca Play to 1-1 Draw in Liga MX Semifinals After 2 Late Goals

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2017

Toluca's Carlos Esquivel, left, fights for the ball with Chivas' Edwin Hernandez during a Mexico soccer league semifinal first leg match at Nemesio Diez Stadium in Toluca, Mexico, Thursday, May 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Eduardo Verdugo/Associated Press

The final few minutes featured plenty of fireworks, but halfway through the Liga MX semifinals, we are no closer to knowing who will play for a championship.

Chivas and Toluca played to a 1-1 draw Thursday night in the first of two semifinal legs, with both goals coming in the last 10 minutes of action.

The aggregate will now come down to the second leg to be played Sunday.

Rodolfo Pizarro opened the scoring for Guadalajara in the 83rd minute with this play off a deflection, via Univision Deportes:

It only took two minutes to respond with this header by Fernando Uribe in the 85th minute:

Toluca appeared to have the game-winner in the 92nd minute, but a foul disallowed the score and left the 1-1 final.

Of course, the away score for Chivas will be extremely valuable going forward.

Both goalkeepers were outstanding to keep this one close. Rodolfo Cota had five saves for Guadalajara, while Alfredo Talavera had four, although none were more impressive than this one in the first half:

It took fortunate plays for either to give up the clean sheet, allowing the match to end much different than it started.

Toluca came out aggressive with a few early shots on net in the opening minutes, although they eventually settled into a more conservative approach while trying to feel out their opponent.

The visitors were the ones who got their chances with nine shots in the first half. Eric Gomez of ESPN described the questionable strategy from Toluca:

Despite the difference, neither side was able to get on to the scoresheet in the first half, thanks in large part to the play of Talavera in net for the home team.

Tom Marshall of ESPN broke down the first 45 minutes:

The chances continued in the second half, with Los Diablos Rojos forcing the issue much more.

Just when it seemed as though the two sides were ready to settle for a scoreless draw, Pizarro came through for Guadalajara in the 83rd minute. His return from injury clearly gives the squad a major boost, and he was key off the bench in this one.

However, only two minutes later Toluca was able to respond with the equalizer.

This ended up being the only scoring of the match as the two sides remained tied through the first contest. 

The teams will meet again for the second leg Sunday in Guadalajara for the right to go to the finals. It's been over 10 years since Chivas last played for a championship, so the fans are likely going to be as wild as ever.

Toluca will either have to win outright or score at least two goals to advance, but a lot can happen in the final 90 minutes of the semifinals.    

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