The new Mexican champions are Toluca who won the remarkable two-legged final against Cruz Azul on penalties 7-6. Leading 2-0 after the first leg away from home, Toluca were expected to easily win the crown but Cruz Azul won the second leg by the same score and after no more goals in extra time it went to penalties and the ‘diablos rojos’, the red devils of Toluca, prevailed to win their 9th Mexican title overall and their sixth in the past ten years.
Great for Argentinian fans as the Apertura season finished in a three-team tie after last week’s final matches. San Lorenzo, Boca Juniors and Tigre all won to set up an unprecedented mini-league play off that starts this week. Great stuff in Argentina.
River Plate must be delighted that the Apertura has finally finished as it ends a miserable season that saw them finish bottom of the league following their 1-1 draw with Estudiantes. The famous Buenos Aires club won only two games in the 19 match season and midfielder Galmarini admitted to being ‘ashamed’ of the club’s performances. Quite remarkably, River had won the Clausura tournament only 6 months ago. It has also been a bad 6 months for former England star Paul Ince who was sacked by Premier League club Blackburn Rovers this week after a win less run of 11 matches – a club record – left the team second from bottom and perilously close to relegation. Ince was sacked after only 21 games despite injuries to key players and the fact that two wins could lift the club up to mid-table. Bad for football as the short-term climate that we currently live in dominates again.
Teams from the South-east Asian region have been told to ‘clean up their act’ by ASEAN chief, Yap Nyim Keong after teams from Burma and Singapore clashed during the annual ASEAN tournament in Indonesia last week. There has been a history of violence in the area leading to Keong’s recommendation of sending coaches and officials on training courses.