2022 Liga BBVA MX, Clausura 2022 - Finals
  • Romario Ibarra (8')
  • Nicolás Ibáñez (45'+9')
  • Julio Furch (45' PEN)
  • Aníbal Chalá (83')
2nd Leg - Atlas win 3-2 on aggregate
2nd Leg - Atlas win 3-2 on aggregate

Atlas wins back-to-back Liga MX titles, defeats Pachuca in 2022 Clausura final

Atlas survived a fightback from Pachuca on Sunday night to clinch a second consecutive Liga MX title and third overall in their history.

Heading into Pachuca's Estadio Hidalgo with a 2-0 aggregate lead after Thursday's first leg, Atlas quickly suffered a setback after allowing a goal in the eighth minute. With Pachuca's Romario Ibarra cleverly nutmegging defender Anderson Santamaria and then finding the back of the net, the aggregate scoreline narrowed to 2-1 early in the first half.

Pachuca continued to push forward, eventually appearing close to earning a penalty in the 29th minute before a check from VAR instead led to an offside call. In the 44th minute, VAR would once again come into play. Following a handball from Pachuca's Daniel Aceves, referee Fernando Hernandez pointed to the spot and provided Atlas with a penalty.

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Striker Julio Furch, who had yet to find a goal in either leg of the final, stepped up in the 45th minute and scored to put Atlas up 3-1 on aggregate. Just when it looked like the championship series might have started to slip away from the home side, Pachuca then once again found the back of the net when striker Nicolas Ibanez headed in an assist from Victor Guzman seconds before the half-time whistle.

Needing just one more goal to level the scoreline and send the match into extra time, Pachuca pressed forward and launched several shots towards goalkeeper Camilo Vargas. In the 83rd minute, a lifeline emerged for Los Tuzos when Atlas' Anibal Chala was shown a red card.

Nonetheless, even with a one-man advantage and with a handful of attack-minded substitutions, Pachuca weren't able to find the third goal needed to equalize the scoreline. Once the final whistle was blown after six minutes of injury time, Atlas claimed a 3-2 aggregate victory.

"We're making history," said Atlas captain Aldo Rocha following the final whistle. "We continue to transform this team that was asleep for years."

Furch, who scored Atlas' lone goal on Sunday that gave them enough of an advantage to win the championship, was all smiles after the match.

"Earning a back-to-back championship was something unthinkable," he said. "Not even the most optimistic of people thought we'd make it, but we finally did."

Atlas are now the third club to win back-to-back titles in Liga MX's short-season format that began in 1996. Before earning trophies in the 2022 Clausura and 2021 Apertura, Atlas' first of three league championships was secured in 1951. Since 2019, Atlas have been under the ownership of Grupo Orlegi, who also run Santos Laguna.