Cruz Azul beat Tigres UANL 2-1 on Wednesday night to become the first Leagues Cup champion.
The game, played at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, was an intense one despite the newness of the competition. There was a large scuffle in the first half, with players from both sides showing high emotions. Despite the intensity, the goals were a long time in coming, with neither side wanting to concede first in a final.
The inaugural Leagues Cup competition is set to conclude this Wednesday, with two Liga MX teams vying for the title.
Cruz Azul and Tigres UANL will face off at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Los Vegas as each looks to become the first champion of the inter-league competition. Tigres reached the final after beating América on penalties, while Cruz Azul defeated the LA Galaxy, the only MLS team to get past the first round.
The 2019 Leagues Cup final will be an all-Liga-MX affair after Cruz Azul beat the LA Galaxy 2-1 in the second semifinal. Cruz Azul will face Tigres UANL in the final.
The game started off well for the visitors, and it didn’t take long for La Máquina to take the lead. In the 4th minute, José Madueña sent a shot from just outside the box in off the post to make it 0-1 for Cruz Azul early on.
Tigres UANL scored a last-second equalizer to tie América 2-2 and send this semifinal to a penalty shootout; the universitarios then bested the Águilas 5-3 from the spot to earn their place in the final of the inaugural Leagues Cup.
Tigres started the game on the front foot, and their attacking pressure soon paid off. In the 14th minute, Jürgen Damm got past Jesús López on the wing and sent a low cross into the box. The unfortunate Paul Aguilar sent the ball into the back of his own net when he tried to cut out the cross, making it 0-1 for Tigres with his own-goal.
The new inter-league competition between Liga MX and MLS continues this week with the semifinal round. Just four teams from each league are competing this year, although expansion for 2020 has already been announced.
Liga MX teams dominated the quarterfinals, with three out of four advancing to this round, while just one Major League Soccer team moved on. The remaining four teams will now face off for a chance to contest the final.
In the event of a tie at the end of regulation, the game will go directly to a penalty shootout to determine advancement; no extra time will be played.
The inaugural edition of the Leagues Cup got underway this past week, with four Liga MX and four MLS teams going head to head in the quarterfinals. Three of the four Mexican representatives moved on to the semifinals, which will be held in Houston and Los Angeles in August.
Chicago Fire 0-2 Cruz Azul
LA Galaxy 2-2 Tijuana (LA advanced 3-1 on penalties)
Houston Dynamo 1-1 América (América advanced 6-5 on penalties)
Real Salt Lake 0-1 Tigres UANL
The new inter-league competition between Liga MX and MLS kicks off this week with the quarterfinal round. Just four teams from each league are competing this year, although expansion for 2020 has already been announced.
For the inaugural 2019 edition, the four Major League Soccer teams will host the quarterfinals, which are single-elimination games. In the event of a tie at the end of regulation, the game will go directly to a penalty shootout to determine advancement; no extra time will be played.
The inaugural Leagues Cup hasn’t even started yet, but the new tournament is already set to expand in 2020. The current competition, which kicks off July 23rd, features four teams from Liga MX and four from Major League Soccer. Next year, it will be eight from each league.
Qualifying for the 2020 Leagues Cup will be based on regular-season performances for MLS clubs, where the top four teams in each conference not already qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League will make up the Leagues Cup representatives.
A new inter-league competition between Liga MX and Major League Soccer was announced on Wednesday: the Leagues Cup.
The Leagues Cup will feature four teams from each league and will start in July. For this edition, the four Liga MX teams were selected based on recent competition results, while the four MLS teams were invited; in future editions, currently unspecified sporting criteria will determine the participants.
This year’s participants are: Club América, Cruz Azul, Tigres UANL, and Tijuana for Liga MX; and Chicago Fire, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, and Real Salt Lake for MLS.