Pachuca is the champion of Liga MX after Victor Guzman's dramatic goal in stoppage time delivered the clausura title to Los Tuzos.
Pachuca is the champion of Liga MX after Victor Guzman's dramatic goal in the final seconds of stoppage time delivered the clausura title to Los Tuzos.
Guzman beat U.S. men's national team left back Edgar Castillo to the ball on Emmanuel Garcia's cross from the left, snapping a 1-1 aggregate draw and capturing the trophy in dramatic fashion, at the death.
Dorlan Pabon had brought the two-leg final even with a goal in the 39th minute, just minutes after Edwin Cardona missed a chance to do the same from the penalty spot. Pachuca was reduced to 10 men after Aquivaldo Mosquera was sent off in the 74th minute for denying Pabon an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and yanking him down from behind on a breakaway, effectively saving the match for Los Tuzos despite sacrificing his place on the field.
It then rallied for the winner through Guzman, who had entered as a 66th minute substitute.
The title makes a champion out of U.S. center back Omar Gonzalez, who adds Liga MX silverware to this three MLS Cups and two Supporters' Shields won with the LA Galaxy. Gonzalez will not be part of the USA's Copa America squad this summer after not being selected from Jurgen Klinsmann's preliminary roster.
He moved to Pachuca this winter after seven seasons with the Galaxy, with four MLS Best XIs, a Rookie of the Year, Defender of the Year and MLS Cup MVP hardware to his name.
Castillo, meanwhile, was added to the final roster as an injury replacement for Timmy Chandler.
“For me, I think it’s more competitive [in Mexico],” Gonzalez told SI's Grant Wahl when speaking about his move in March. “Not to say that MLS is an easy league, but it’s just a different challenge for me. In Mexico, every team has a talented attacking group … I’ve seen the players in MLS now for seven years, so I’ve kind of got a good idea of what they’re bringing to the table and how to go about defending them.
“And now I don’t know anything really about this league and about the players, so I have to be alert, I have to be ready game in and game out. And to be honest, I never felt threatened for my spot at the Galaxy. I was going to play every single game no matter what. And now there’s some guys behind me [at Pachuca] who could step in and take my spot if I don’t have a good game.”