Photo: Sandra Bautista / Imago7
Julián Quiñones made his debut in Liga MX six years ago wearing the Tigres shirt and having Atlas as his rival. Ironically, the Colombian attacker scored a sensational goal on Wednesday night that seems to have knocked out the felines in the semifinals to send the black and red team to another Mexican final.
The Atlas de Guadalajara, proving that his title won last winter was neither a stroke of luck nor an accident, set foot in the final of the Clausura 2022 Tournament by thrashing Tigres 3-0 in the first leg, leaving coach Miguel “Piojo” Herrera speechless at the Jalisco Stadium.
Atlas was clearly the best on the pitch, having generated plenty of dangerous arrivals and he reflected that with a solid 2-0 run. In the final stretch, with Tigres ahead and trying to cut back, came the most decisive play of the night and one that Quiñones will surely not forget.
After a recovery in the area of the home team, Quiñones took the ball on his own court and drove it about 50 meters before cutting back and unleashing a bombshell who beat goalkeeper Nahuel Guzmán. The red and black celebration was well deserved. Perhaps it was the ticket goal to another final.
But just as important was the goal of the coffee grower Quiñones as the performance of his compatriot Camilo Vargas. The red and black goalkeeper had a good game with great interventions and specifically made a deflection that avoided a sung goal by the felines a free shot by Carlos González. That action in the second half could have changed the course of the tie.
Atlas, who in the quarterfinals got rid of Chivas in the Clásico Tapatío, opened the scoring in the 39th minute in a penalty kick by Julio Furch, with a powerful shot to the base of the post and then went into the net. The maximum penalty was called for a foul by goalkeeper Guzmán on the Ecuadorian Aníbal Chalá, another one who caused havoc during the night in Guadalajara.
The 2-0 fell at 60 minutes in a definition of crack by Luis “Hueso” Reyes, who coincidentally was born in Monterrey. His perfectly placed left-footed shot crowned a magnificent action to make Jalisco explode, with a small scare included when some fans almost fell to the field when a gate where the players were celebrating was accidentally opened.
The second leg will be on Saturday at the University Volcano. The Tigers are in a tremendous hole, but they still have 90 minutes left. In the other key, America will host Pachuca this Thursday in the first leg.
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