Landon Donovan makes first Liga MX start, but Tigres dominate Leon

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The United States legend started for the first time in a Leon shirt, but things didn't go to plan

Landon Donovan made his first Liga MX start Saturday, though it wasn't a dream full debut for the United States legend.

Donovan played an hour for Leon but wasn't able to make the difference he would've hoped, with the score sitting at 4-0 in favor of Tigres when he left the match.

While a frustrating result, the 61 minutes he played in El Volcan were more than his previous minute total combined since he came out of retirement for a second time to join La Fiera. Entering the weekend, Donovan had made four appearance for Gustavo Diaz's side, totaling 36 minutes as a whole. He started in a friendly against the San Jose Earthquakes, one of Donovan's former clubs, during the international break and was deemed ready to start after a two-month period of getting up to speed.

Fitness issues in Leon's squad played no small part in Donovan being in the XI either. With Luis Montes unavailable because of an injury and Mauro Boselli not at 100 percent after recovering from illness during the week, the former LA Galaxy star played in the middle for Leon with Andres Andrade on his left and Elias Hernandez on the right.

The attackers hardly had a chance to show what they could do, though, as Tigres overran Leon's defense and took a 4-0 advantage into the halftime break.

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The club did pick up a consolation goal in stoppage time, but the 4-1 final leaves Leon in a tough spot heading into the closing run. 

Leon could slip as low as 15th in the table depending on the rest of the weekend's results, and a spot in the playoffs looks unlikely - though the club may need to make up only a handful of points over the final four matches with other contending teams also slipping up in Jornada 13.

Donovan and his side return to action April 4 when they host Morelia at the Camp Nou before traveling to Veracruz, hosting Tijuana and facing Chivas on the road to close out the regular season.

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