Toluca vs Pachuca: what players to watch in the Liga MX final
We take a look at four players who have starred for finalists Toluca and Pachuca in the Liga MX Apertura 2022 tournament.
Toluca host Pachuca in the first leg of the Apertura 2022 final on Thursday, as two of the most successful sides in Mexico’s short-tournament era go head to head for the league title. It’s a tie that promises good football from start to finish.
Indeed, given the many match winners who will be on show in the championship decider - not to mention the quality both teams have in reserve on the bench - it’s no coincidence that Los Diablos Rojos and Los Tuzos have made it through to the final.
A team is built from the bottom up, and Toluca can attest to that. Goalkeeper had been something of a problem position for the club - until they went shopping in Brazil and brought Volpi, a netminder of proven pedigree, to the Liga MX. After playing an important role in the quarter-final win over Santos Laguna, the 31-year-old was nothing short of a brick wall against Club América in the last four.
Midfielder Fernánez had a hard time at Tigres, but since returning to the Estadio Nemesio Díez he has recaptured the form he showed after his arrival in Mexico. The Uruguayan’s ability to take care of the ball, ping penetrative passes and chip in with goals from range have made him a stand-out performer.
Chávez is one of the jewels in Pachuca’s crown. The 26-year-old has been the perfect foil to Erick Sánchez in the midfield, and his fine displays in the Apertura 2022 tournament could earn him a place in Gerardo Martino’s Mexico squad for the World Cup. Like Fernández, Chávez particularly catches the eye for his great technique and ability to pop up in shooting positions.
Pachuca’s goalscorer-in-chief, Ibáñez has slotted seamlessly into the side since his arrival at the Estadio Hidalgo in 2021. In the wake of his magnificent performances for Atlético San Luis, Los Tuzos did not hesitate to dig deep for the striker, who finished as the leading marksman in the Apertura 2022 regular season.
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