Photo: Etzel Espinoza / Imago7
A long agony has had to go through the extensive hobby of the Eagles of America for five months in which the team did not add victories, but the drought ended this Sunday, March 20, when those led interim by Fernando Ortiz beat Toluca 3-0 at home in the Closing Tournament 2022 of Liga MX.
The people from the capital stood well on the field of play, controlling the ball and making good transitions, throwing good crosses into the Devils’ area. When the 7th minute was over, the first goal fell. Roger Martínez took advantage of a filtered pass to send the ball to save before a goalkeeper Gutiérrez Muñoz annoyed with his defense for leaving the dangerous striker alone.
After a minute of tension while the VAR reviewed the play, referee Oscar Mejía approved the score.
But the one that made the thousands of fans present at the Azteca Stadium scream was Diego Valdés, who at minute 15 from the edge of the area through a free kick scored a great goal; he nailed it in the left corner of Toluca’s goal.
All the bank of America went to celebrate with the player. An atmosphere of optimism and ecstasy has been perceived so far, sensations that have not been present for a long time, since the Apertura 2021.
Coach Fernando Ortiz also could not hide his happiness at what was seen on the scoreboard and on the pitch. The half hour was not met when the Eagles already had a two-goal lead and dominated at will.
And when the local fans were still recovering their throats after the second goal, the winger Alejandro Zendejas -one of the main players in the bad moment the team is experiencing- led the ball from outside the goal area and in association headed to score the third goal 17′.
Could have been four for America
Such was the level of control over the game that America had, that the resounding failure of Henry Martin at minute 61 of the second half did not alter the comfortable victory this Sunday.
Diego Valdés served in the central zone, and the open attacker, without marking and only in front of the goalkeeper, sent the ball into the clouds.
Guillermo ‘Memo’ Ochoa, historic goalkeeper
This meeting was not only the reunion of the azulcremas with victory, but also the match number 400 played by the captain and historic goalkeeper Guillermo ‘Memo’ Ochoathat Toluca had little to worry about, which barely recorded four shots.
Now Ochoa shares the record of the goalkeeper who has played the most matches with América along with another club legend: Adrián Chávez. He could exceed this mark and remain alone with the record the next day when they face Necaxa as a visitor on April 4, after the break for the Qatar 2022 World Cup Qualifiers.