Thursday, June 30, 2022

Pachuca thrashes America and will meet Atlas in the final

MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) — With a pair of goals from Ecuador’s Romario Ibarra and one more from Erick Sánchez on Sunday night, Pachuca thrashed America 3-0 to qualify for the final of the Clausura tournament in Mexico, where they will meet with the Atlas.

Ibarra first shook the nets in the 12th minute and added a goal in the 65th, while Sánchez contributed a goal with a mid-range shot in the 43rd to give direction to the series, which ended with an aggregate score of 4-1 in favor of the Tuzos.

Pachuca, led by Uruguayan Guillermo Almada, reached its first final since Clausura 2016 —when it won the sixth title in its history.

Los Tuzos, the best in the regular tournament, will visit the reigning champions on Thursday and the second leg will be on Sunday at the Hidalgo stadium. The dates are established by regulation, but the schedules will be announced on Monday by the Mexican Football Federation.

With their victory, Pachuca extended their hegemony over America in the direct elimination series. Since short tournaments were introduced in Mexico in 1996, the Tuzos have knocked out the Eagles five of the six times they have met.

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The Azulcremas also saw an 11-match unbeaten streak that helped them jump from the bottom of the table to the semi-finals.

Now the leadership must make a decision about the future of Argentine coach Fernando Ortiz, who took over from his compatriot Santiago Solari and orchestrated the awakening of the club in the second half of the tournament.

América, one of the two most popular teams in the country, has not been champion since the 2018 Apertura.

The fate of the Eagles could have been different, because at the start, in the first minute, the Chilean Diego Valdés had a one-on-one with goalkeeper Óscar Ustari, who made a couple of rebounds with his feet to avoid the goal.

The Argentine goalkeeper weighed in again after three minutes, when Paraguayan Richard Sánchez took a shot from mid-range that was rejected from a corner kick.

Pachuca shook off the visiting domain and was close to five with a shot by Colombian Avilés Hurtado that was rejected by goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

The Tuzos went ahead when Hurtado took advantage of a hesitation from the local defense and entered only on the right wing to send a cross towards the area, where Ibarra arrived to push the ball into the back of the net.

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Pachuca gave one more warning in the 33rd minute with a shot from Ibarra that Ochoa hurriedly rejected and shortly after the locals sentenced the series when Sánchez tried his luck from outside the area and his shot entered the base of the Águilas’ right post.

Forced to score three unanswered goals to advance, América came out on top in the second half and came close to scoring in the 52nd with a shot from Alejandro Zendejas inside the area that Ustari parried.

The Tuzos took advantage of the spaces of the visiting defense and extended their advantage in a counterattack in which Víctor Guzmán sent a cross from the right to Ibarra, who hit the ball in the center of the area and sent it to Ochoa’s left corner.

Pachuca was able to add goals in the 71st and 73rd minutes with shots from outside the area by Chávez and Guzmán that crashed into the posts.

Nation World News Desk
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