The wheels for FC Juarez came off in the final 10 minutes of last night’s match against Leon to suffer their worst loss this season by the final score of 4-1. This result marks the second defeat in a row at home for the Bravos in Liga BBVA play.

Things appeared to be lining themselves up for another win for FC Juarez as they took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room at halftime. Angelo Sagal scored in the 8th minute of play off of a header on a direct kick. The remainder of the first half was evenly disputed between both sides but it could be seen that little by little Leon was starting to improve and impose its style of play on Bravos.

The second half got off to a controversial start when just three minutes in the Bravos had a breakaway that ended with forward Dario Lezcano being pushed in the opposing goalbox but a penalty kick in favor of the Bravos was not called. The worst part was that the play was not even considered for review by the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) officials. Yet approximately 15 minutes later on a defensive play in the Bravos goalbox referee Oscar Garcia and VAR officials saw it fit to review a defensive stop that had unintended incidental contact. The review lead to a penalty being called in favor of Leon, Angel Mena took the penalty kick and scored in the 67th minute to tie the match.

Leon showed a quicker reaction to equalizer than FC Juarez did knowing that they could possibly have the home team on the ropes. Leon would go on to score twice in less than 2 minutes (Joel Campbell in the 81st minute and Armando Leon in the 83rd minute). The nail in the coffin that wasn’t necessarily needed was provided when Angel Mena would score in the 90th minute, a goal that was reviewed by VAR and upheld.

Head coach for Leon, Ignacio Ambriz said the following about the win that moves his team into second place in the standings, “I feel that in the final 15, 20 minutes of the first half we were starting to win the possession battle and started to create more chances on goal. In the second half we made some adjustment and asked a couple of players to become more offensively aggressive. At the end of the day those adjustment allowed for the positive result.”

On the flip side head coach for the Bravos, Gabriel Caballero said the following, “We knew tonight’s match was going to be a difficult one against a rival who likes to maintain possession of the ball, but also we stopped doing a lot of the things over the course of the match. We became disorganized in the final and fatal 10 minutes when we received the last three goals. We were imprecise and simply didn’t have a good game. We had an opportunity to score a second goal in play that became questionable (referring to the no call on the possible penalty). After that with the opportunities that Leon created as the match progress we knew we could be in trouble and now we will have to live with tonight’s result.

With this result the Bravos remain in 6th place in the standings with 14 points, still in the playoff zone to begin the second half of the season.

Up next for the Bravos will be the second leg of the Copa MX semifinals on Wednesday night against Rayados in city of Monterrey. The Bravos have a 2-0 lead in that aggregate score. The match is scheduled to kickoff at 9pm MST and will be televised on Fox Deportes nationally in the United States.

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