In Toluca’s packed and raucous Estadio Nemesio Diez, Pachuca quickly quieted the crowd after Ibarra found the back of the net in the eight minute through a counter from midfielder Erick Sanchez.
In the 13th minute, Pachuca’s Cabral then grazed a cross off a free-kick from Victor Guzman to make it 2-0.
Although Toluca would eventually fight back with more possession in the first half, Pachuca were ruthless with their attacking opportunities that provided an additional goal from Ibarra in the 36th minute and another one from Mauricio Isais in the 41st.
Los Tuzos didn’t sit back after halftime. Shortly after returning to the field, winger Paulino de la Fuente controlled a rebounded shot and then perfectly set up Ibañez to find the back of the net in the 53rd minute and make it 5-0 in Pachuca’s favor.
Desperate to remain in the running for a Mexican top-flight title, Toluca pushed forward in the latter stages of the second half.
Changes from manager Ignacio “Nacho” Ambriz gave life to the home side that were given a small lifeline through substitute Jordan Sierra. Following a brilliant run from Leonardo Fernandez, the midfielder dished out a pass to Sierra, who scored in the 78th minute to make it 5-1.
The Estadio Nemesio Diez crowd erupted into cheers after the goal, later belting out chants of “Toluca, si se puede” (Toluca, yes we can) that guided the home team to a handful of opportunities in the dying minutes.
In injury time, a chance to reduce Pachuca’s advantage emerged through a penalty call. Toluca’s Fernandez stepped up but then failed to capitalize on his penalty attempt in the 97th minute, saved by Pachuca goalkeeper Oscar Ustari.
The Liga MX final will wrap-up on Sunday with the second leg at Pachuca’s Estadio Hidalgo. While Los Tuzos are now tantalizingly close to lifting a trophy after falling just short to Atlas in last season’s championship series, Toluca will keep their fingers crossed for a miraculous comeback that could clinch an 11th league title.