The Clausura 2017 Gran Final is set, and Chivas de Guadalajara and Tigres UANL will face off for the league title.
Chivas is returning to a league final for the first time since the Apertura 2006 season, and they will be looking for their 12th title – which would tie rivals América for most league championships.
Tigres, meanwhile, is looking for their sixth league title, and they are also looking to become just the third team to win back-to-back titles in the short season era, after Pumas in the Clausura 2004/Apertura 2004 and León in the Apertura 2013/Clausura 2014 seasons.
Chivas de Guadalajara earned their fourth Copa MX title with a penalty shootout win against Monarcas Morelia. After 90 goalless minutes, Miguel Jiménez became the hero as he saved three straight penalties to give Chivas the 3-1 shootout victory.
Morelia had the first clear chance of the game through Gabriel Lezcano, but his shot from outside the box went just over the crossbar. After that, Chivas began to control the run of play, although Morelia’s well-organized defense limited Guadalajara primarily to shots from mid- and long- range.
The Copa MX champion will be determined this Wednesday when Chivas de Guadalajara hosts Monarcas Morelia in the Gran Final.
Chivas has reached the final 11 times before, but has only won it three times; they finished runner-up on the other eight occasions – including last season, where they fell to Querétaro on penalties. Their most recent cup victory came in the Apertura 2015, where they defeated León 1-0.
After 120 minutes of insanity, Liga-MX-style, Tigres UANL were crowned champions of the Apertura 2016 after defeating América on penalties. A 0-0 draw in regulation (1-1 aggregate) sent the match to extra time, which finished 1-1 (2-2 aggregate) to send it all to penalties.
Nahuel Guzmán then made three straight saves in the shootout as Tigres won the title from the spot, 3-0.
The game was hard-fought from the opening whistle, with neither Tigres nor América willing to give an inch. The hosts had the best chance of the first half through Javier Aquino, who forced Moisés Muñoz into a spectacular save just past the half-hour mark.
Sunday, December 25 Tigres UANL (3) vs América (5) – 7:30 PM – Univision / Univision Deportes First leg: América 1-1 Tigres
Tigres UANL will host the decisive second leg of the Gran Final on Christmas Day. The universitarios didn’t have the best record at home in the Volcán during the regular season, with just three wins from nine matches, but they will look to their league-leading defense to keep the Águilas off the board.
The champion of the Apertura 2016 will be crowned on Christmas day as Tigres UANL hosts América in the second leg of the Gran Final.
The 1-1 draw in the first leg leaves everything to play for here in a game that will be winner-takes-all. The final is a total goals, aggregate score series; away goals are not tiebreakers. Should the aggregate remain tied at the end of the second leg, the match will proceed to extra time and penalties, if needed.
América and Tigres UANL left everything to play for in Sunday’s second leg after a 1-1 draw on Thursday night.
América had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 28th minute, when Paul Delgadillo awarded a penalty kick for a foul by Jesús Dueñas on Oribe Peralta. Peralta himself stepped up to take the PK, but he slammed it into the crossbar to keep the game 0-0.