The Seattle Sounders will face Club Leon in the 2021 Leagues Cup Final after goals from Santiago Ormeno and Santiago Colombatto lifted the Liga MX powerhouse to a 2-0 win over 10-man Pumas UNAM in Wednesday's semifinal bout.
This will be the first-ever matchup between Leon and Seattle, with the two sides set to compete in a highly-anticipated championship match September 22 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Pumas began on the front foot, but things quickly soured after a fifth-minute red card to former Real Salt Lake forward Sebastian Saucedo. Referee Walter Lopez initially awarded Saucedo a yellow card for his reckless foul, but Lopez changed the decision to a straight red card after a Video Review, reducing Pumas to 10 men for the remainder of the match.
Leon took advantage of the situation, scoring the go-ahead goal in the 16th minute off a corner kick. Colombatto tallied after Pumas goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera pushed the ball into the box off his line, only for the Argentine to head home into the back of the net.
Pumas shored up their midfield and defense for the remainder of the game but struggled to maintain any sort of attacking momentum. Leon eventually found a security goal, with Ormeno doubling their lead in the 68th minute. It looked as if Ormeno would have had a second goal in the 88th minute, but Walter Lopez signaled for offside following a Video Review.
- THE BIG PICTURE: It was an honorable fight from Pumas, but an early red card doomed their hopes and put them in position to chase all evening. Now, one of Liga MX's best sides will take on one of MLS' finest in a highly-anticipated final. The Sounders will look to be the first MLS team to win the tournament, while Leon will look to take silverware back with them across the border. The first-ever Leagues Cup was won by Cruz Azul in 2019, and the 2020 version was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Sebastian Saucedo's fifth-minute red card. The sending-off changed the game's course and put Pumas in a really tough spot.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Santiago Colombatto. The Argentine striker was a threat for Leon all evening and scored their opener in the 16th minute.
- LEO: Wednesday, September 22 vs. Seattle Sounders | 10 pm ET (ESPN2, Unimas)
- PUM: End of tournament