Dorados win first leg of Mexican second-division final; Maradona ejected
Dorados de Sinaloa, a Mexican second-division soccer team coached by Diego Maradona, defeated Atletico San Luis 1-0 Thursday night in the first leg of the Ascenso MX’s Apertura 2018 final despite the Argentine legend’s ejection for storming the field to argue a call.
Dorados midfielder Edson Rivera scored the lone goal of the match toward the end of the second half at Banorte Stadium in this northwestern city.
The host side started strong and made numerous forays into the opposing team’s area, with Ecuadorian forward Vinicio Angulo spearheading Sinaloa’s attack and sending a pair of chances over the crossbar in the seventh and 17th minutes.
Atletico San Luis came to life midway through the first half and nearly opened the scoring on one opportunity by Fernando Madrigal in the 24th minute and another that Argentine forward Nicolas Ibañez failed to convert a minute later.
The end of the first half saw action at both ends of the field, as Angulo created danger on two more occasions and Ibañez squandered a golden chance in a one-on-one opportunity against Dorados net minder Gaspar Servio.
Dorados took control of the match after the intermission and were rewarded for their aggression when Angulo bounced a header on the turf off a free kick to set up a left-footed close-range strike by Rivera past net minder Carlos Rodriguez in the 75th minute.
Maradona was then ejected for arguing a non-call in second-half injury time after Angulo went down in the opposing team’s area.
Although the replay showed there was no foul, Maradona screamed at both the referee and Atletico San Luis head coach Alfonso Sosa and was expelled from the match when he continued to argue vociferously on the playing field.
Maradona, who had been ejected from a match earlier in the Apertura 2018 playoffs, will be suspended from Sunday’s second leg at San Luis’ home ground in the central city of San Luis Potosi.
Both teams are trying to secure promotion to the 2019-2020 edition of the Liga MX, Mexican soccer’s first division.
Either can do so by winning both the Ascenso MX’s Apertura 2018 and Clausura 2019 titles or by winning one of them and then defeating the champion of the other competition in a two-legged playoff.