Toluca's Alfredo Talavera Outperforms Former Teammate Oswaldo Sanchez

Alfredo Talavera could not stick with Chivas but has found a home in Toluca.
Not too long ago, Oswaldo Sanchez and Alfredo Talavera shared the same goal - to start matches and help their club win titles.

That was when both were with Chivas Guadalajara, of course.

Now, the pupil has overtaken the master. Talavera stopped a critical penalty kick in the Bicentenario 2010 final which gave Toluca a 4-3 penalty-kick win and their 10th Mexican league title.

While his former mentor was on the losing side, Talavera said the players each had their own motivation for the series, and one-upping the other was not part of it.

"Each one was going to do his job, but it was special because we had talked about it between Oswaldo and myself, that the best one would win, that whoever won it would enjoy it," Talavera told reporters. "It was my turn."

Talavera took over for the injured Hernan Cristante early in the Apertura 2009 season and has been the number one goalkeeper since. He played every minute of every game this season and had three shutouts in six playoff games.

In the Apertura 2006 season, Talavera was on a championship-winning squad as he was Sanchez's backup when Chivas won league that season. But walking away with the first title in which he played a key role is special.

"It means a lot," he said. "You enjoy everything. It was an intense match. My family was suffering, crying and enjoying it."

Talavera nearly saw it all go to waste. Santos' Juan Pablo Rodriguez stepped first to the spot for Santos and fired to Talavera's right. Talavera guessed correctly and blocked the shot but was ruled to have left his line too early, and "El Chato" took another attempt. He made it and Santos eventually led 3-1. Santos though missed two spot kicks as Matias Vuoso and Carlos Adrian Morales each sent their shots wide.

In the sixth round and 12th overall attempt, Talavera blocked Fernando Arce's shot and Toluca had their championship.

"I always maintained faith. I was relaxed," he said. "The penalty was re-taken, and then we missed but I never lost faith."

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