The Apertura 2017 Gran Final is a historic affair, with regional rivals Monterrey and Tigres UANL directly contesting the Liga MX title for the first time. Although there have been Clásico Regios in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the playoffs before, this is the first time the Rayados and the universitarios will go head-to-head in the final.
Tigres finished the regular season in second and advanced past 7th-seeded León in the quarterfinals and 3rd-seeded América in the semis, while Monterrey was the superlíder and beat 8th-seeded Atlas and then 4th-seeded Morelia.
Tigres will host the first leg of the Gran Final on Thursday, while Monterrey will host the decisive second leg on Sunday.
Monterrey earned a 0-1 away win against Monarcas Morelia in the first leg of their semifinal series thanks to a first-half penalty.
Monarcas started the game well in front of their home fans, who packed the Estadio Morelos. The hosts had the first good chance of the game in just the 3rd minute, when Rodrigo Millar saw his shot hit the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten.
A controversial penalty kick gave Tigres UANL a 0-1 away win against América in the first leg of their semifinal series.
The visiting universitarios put the pressure on from the start, with André-Pierre Gignac forcing a good save out of Agustín Marchesín in the third minute. Marchesín was then called into action against Eduardo Vargas, with the keeper making a fingertip save to keep Tigres off the board in the 12th minute.
In the first leg of their quarterfinal series, Monterrey picked up a 1-2 away win against Atlas.
The superlíderes took the lead early on. Javier Salas stopped an attack by Rogelio Funes Mori, but then lost the ball to Dorlan Pabón. He returned the ball to Funes Mori, who made it 0-1 for Monterrey in the 4th minute.
Despite two red cards and a penalty, neither team could find the breakthrough as the first leg of this Clásico Joven quarterfinal series finished 0-0.
Cruz Azul’s first good chance came in the 17th minute, when Gerry Flores and Édgar Mendez combined on the right. The Spaniard sent a low ball back towards the top of the box for Francisco Silva, but he couldn’t get the power on his shot and Agustín Marchesín easily scooped up the ball.
In the first leg of their quarterfinal series, León and Tigres UANL played out a 1-1 draw after La Fiera took the lead but failed to hold it.
The visiting Tigres had the better of the chances in the first half, with André-Pierre Gignac and Eduardo Vargas trying their luck, but the universitarios didn’t really threaten William Yarbrough’s goal.
In the first leg of their quarterfinal series, Toluca came from behind to claim a 2-1 win against Monarcas Morelia. Both of the Diablos Rojos goals came after the 90th minute as they stunned Morelia to change the complexion of this series.
Toluca looked dangerous early on with Rubens Sambueza playing in Alexis Canelo and Fernando Uribe, but the final touch was lacking. Then, in the 19th minute, Mario Osuna nearly gave Morelia the lead with his attempt that deflected off the defense and ended up just inches wide of the post.