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Dec 16, 2013

Leon win first title in 21 years

Leon won its first Mexican title in 21 years, sealing the championship after a 3-1 defeat Sunday of America in the second leg of the Apertura tournament at Estadio Azteca. Leon foiled the hopes of America coach Miguel Herrera, who was in charge of his final match for the club en route to a full-time concentration with El Tri. Herrera had been aiming for a second straight league title before his side lost 5-1 on aggregate following a 2-0 defeat in the first leg on Thursday.

For Leon, which had been promoted this season, it was the club's sixth league title and first since 1992 thanks to goals from striker Mauro Boselli, who had also scored in the 2-0 first leg win, and defenders Ignacio Gonzalez and Edwin Hernandez.

Las Aguilas missed their first two chances with saves from Leon goalkeeper William Yarbrough, before Leon counter-attacked. Former Wigan and Genoa striker Boselli, a Libertadores Cup winner with Argentina club Estudiantes in 2009, netted his fifth goal in the playoffs and his 16th in 21 appearances, setting past a diving Moises Munoz in the 12th minute.

America answered back four minutes before halftime thanks to an own goal by Gonzalez, who deflected a shot from midfielder Rubens Sambueza into the net.

America then played the final 35 minutes down a man after defender Francisco Rodriguez was sent off for taking down goal-bound Matias Britos.

Gonzalez and Hernandez scored two goals for Leon in the final 18 minutes while Herrera was sent off from the bench screaming at officials.

Antonio Mohamed, who coached Tijuana to their first league title last year, will replace Herrera at America for the Clausura championship starting next month.

Leon defender Rafael Marquez, who returned home from the New York Red Bulls this season to play for Leon with hopes for a fourth chance at El Tri's roster, told El Universal he "put all my heart into this," and thanked his fans on Twitter:

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