CCL heartbreak: LAFC fall to Club León in latest MLS vs. Liga MX final


The Concacaf Champions League power scales have shifted away from MLS and back towards Liga MX, with Club León using a 1-0 win (3-1 aggregate) Sunday evening to overcome LAFC at BMO Stadium and take the region’s 2023 crown.

León carried a 2-1 aggregate advantage into the second-leg matchup after winning Wednesday in Mexico, then increased their cushion in the 20th minute when striker Lucas Di Yorio buried an incisive move down the left-hand side of LAFC’s backline.

LAFC had a golden chance to land the first punch through Dénis Bouanga, but the star forward whiffed on Diego Palacios’ cross in the second minute, unable to build off his late strike from Leg 1.

Half-chances became the theme of LAFC’s night, with Carlos Vela, Aaron Long and Bouanga all threatening León goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota. A wave of second-half substitutes injected energy into the Black & Gold’s attack, but the visitors' Mexican international shot-stopper was never seriously threatened.

The end result was León celebrating their first-ever CCL title, denying the defending MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield champions a trophy on their own turf. Now, León have bragging rights, prize money and spots in two upcoming FIFA Club World Cup tournaments (2023 and 2025).

LAFC hoped to keep the CCL mantle in MLS's court after Seattle Sounders FC achieved a historic breakthrough in 2022. However, the wave of Liga MX of dominance returned.


  • 20' - LEO - Lucas Di Yorio | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: LAFC, described by some as favorites, didn’t deliver and allowed León to become the second team this century to win home and away in the CCL final. The end result is their second miss on this CCL stage in four years after falling to Liga MX’s Tigres UANL in 2020. The Black & Gold will be kicking themselves over the missed opportunity, especially at home, where a two-goal win was their marching order before kickoff. Zooming way out, MLS clubs have now lost five of six modern-day CCL finals to Liga MX opponents.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: León scored the only goal of Leg 2 and LAFC never punched back. Should goalkeeper John McCarthy, after Leg 1 heroics, have done better on the attempt?
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Lucas Di Yorio was a surprise starter up top and rewarded the call from manager Nicolás Larcamón, ultimately shattering their MLS foe's continental dreams.

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