Tuesday night was full of emotions as the CONCACAF Champions League Cup took place in the Estadio Leon. The current Mexican superstar, Carlos Vela returned to Mexico where his performance was not up to par.
Club Leon started off the Round of 16 of the CONCACAF Champions League in a positive note after beating Los Angeles FC, 2-0 that left Ignacio Ambriz team in a comfortable position for next week second leg game on Thursday February 27, 2020, as they will go visit Banc of California Stadium home of the Black and Gold team.
At first the game was equally leveled between both teams and it would appear that the night could end as a close score but as the minutes continued to move forward through the first half it was evident that Leon was going to be the superior team on the field. At the very first 5 minutes of the game Leon was knocking on the door of goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer but the shot was just shy of the goal. But that was not the first instance Leon had an opportunity to change the scoreline at home in front of their fans.
Midfielder, Jean Meneses who troubled LAFC defensive back the entire night opened up the score for Leon at the 20th minute after a quick move into the inside of the box and taking a lethal shot that gave La Fiera the lead for the entire first half. Just a few minutes later right after Leon opening the score line, LAFC had an opportunity to draw the score but the ball was just a hairline short from going into the goal.
That occurred many times throughout the game as both teams had many opportunities that made the night very exciting but it was not until the 88th minute of the second half that the star player of Leon, Angel Mena scored the second goal of the night. A 2-0 score demonstrated that Leon rhythm of having six games played in the Liga MX was an advantage over LAFC current stand of being in preseason mode as they await for the MLS to open up in less than a week and half.
Most importantly, LA FC gave a good performance, not the best but they had four clear opportunities at the Estadio Leon to equalized the score but with a few saves from goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota and just being unlucky, Carlos Vela team ended with no scores.
For Carlos Vela night in particular was in mixed of emotions due to the return to the country that gave him the chance to showcase his skills at just 17 years of age being the 2005 U-17 FIFA World Cup Champion in Peru that shipped his talents to Europe quickly and became an important role players in the majority of the club teams he participated in. Vela still demonstrated why he is a scary player on the ball and was participate throughout the night but was shut down in the second half for a good amount of time but it could be due to the lack of rust since last time playing in a competitive level was in October for the MLS playoffs.
Surely, back at home next week Vela will have a clear eye on what is expected of him and will try to regain the advantage for LAFC in the score line.
As for Leon, it is easier said then done but they simply need to keep a clean sheet when they go to Los Angeles, California but most importantly stay healthy as they welcome Necaxa at home this Saturday, February 22, 2020 for the Clausura 2020.