Atlas took a step toward consecutive Liga MX titles by defeating Pachuca 2-0 in the first leg of the Clausura final on Thursday. At home in a packed Estadio Jalisco, Los Rojinegros were carried by goals from Luis Reyes and Julian Quiñones, along with vital saves from goalkeeper Camilo Vargas. After recording a 2-0 victory at home on Thursday, Atlas FC now goes to Pachuca within touching distance of adding the Clausura title to the Apertura title it won earlier this season. Any result other than a defeat by two goals or more would see Atlas clinch a Liga MX double when it kicks off the second leg of the Clausura final on Sunday, May 29 at 9:10 pm ET.
How to watch Atlas vs Pachua Liga MX final
Date: Sunday, May 29, 2022.
Time: 9:10 PM (ET)
Location: Estadio Hidalgo, Pachuca de Soto, Mexico.
Why you should back Pachuca
The Gophers tied for the most goals scored in Liga MX and shared the lead with Atlas for fewest conceded. They lead the league in shots over the two seasons, putting up more than 15 per game. They also allow a lot of shots, but less than 28 percent are on target, the lowest mark in the league. Before being shut out Thursday, Pachuca had scored 12 goals over its previous six matches, and it beat Atlas 1-0 in the previous meeting. It knows it will need to get on the board more often Sunday.
Striker Nicolas Ibanez leads the team with 11 goals, and Victor Guzman has nine. Erick Sanchez is an excellent distributor from his midfield spot and has set up six goals. Goalkeeper Oscar Ustari is the team captain and provides strong leadership in the back, and he has 10 clean sheets over the two seasons. The Gophers are a much better team at Estadio Hidalgo, with just two of their 10 losses over the two seasons coming on their turf. They allowed 12 goals in the 17 games there.
Why you should back Atlas
The Foxes have the confidence from being the Apertura champion, and they found a way to win Thursday. They absorbed a lot of pressure, but goalkeeper Camilo Vargas was up to the task, as he has been all season. He leads Liga MX with a save percentage of 80.9 and is second with 14 clean sheets over the 34 matches. Luis Reyes scored on a header midway through the first half, then Julian Quinones buried his chance after getting a steal in the final third in second-half stoppage time.
Atlas has scored 15 goals in its past seven games, and it allowed just 15 over the entire Clausura. Quinones and Julio Furch both have caused a lot of headaches for defenses this season. Each has 11 goals and six assists, and nine other players have scored at least once. Atlas has won two of the last three against the Gophers, taking a 1-0 road victory back in August. It is fourth in the league in possession (51.2 percent) and has allowed the fourth-fewest shots and shots on target in the league.
Pachuca vs Atlas: Predictions And Odds
Pachuca are big favorites to win this game at home with 1.61 odds that will pay $161 bucks for a $100 bet on Caesars, they have a strong goal average at 1.76 goals per game. Atlas are underdogs at 5.00 odds. The draw is offered at 3.60 odds and the totals at 2.5 goals. The best pick for this Liga MX game is: Pachuca 1.61.
Chasing a 1-0 deficit in the start to the second half, Pachuca continued to test Vargas and eventually hit the crossbar in the 57th minute after a shot from striker Nicolas Ibañez slapped the woodwork. Atlas, unbothered by the near-goal from Ibañez, gradually began to absorb pressure and complicated many of the runs forward from Los Tuzos.