Tigres came out attacking as they looked to put their home-field advantage to good use, and they had a pair of early opportunities through André-Pierre Gignac and Eduardo Vargas. At the other end, Vinicio Angulo had a chance in the 9th minute after being played in by Ángel Mena, but he couldn’t put his attempt on target.
The Clausura 2019 champion will be determined this week as León and Tigres UANL face off in the Gran Final.
Top seed León is making their 13th appearance in the final and is seeking their 8th title; their most recent championship came in the Clausura 2014 season. Second-seeded Tigres UANL is making their 12th appearance in the final and is looking for their 7th title; they won most recently in the Apertura 2017 season.
The semifinals have wrapped up and the top two seeds have advanced and will now face off for the Clausura 2019 Liga MX title.
Top seed León split their semifinal series with América, winning the first leg 0-1 and losing the second by the same scoreline. With the aggregate and away goals both level, León advanced as the higher seed.
It was the same story in the other semifinal, where rivals Tigres UANL and Monterrey each won their home leg 1-0; with the aggregate level and away goals not a factor, Tigres advanced as the higher seed.
León (1st) is in good position to advance after their away win in the first leg. Any win or draw would put them through to the final, as would a 0-1 loss – and every single one of their home games this season reflected one of those scenarios: seven wins, one draw, and one 0-1 loss. León also has both the best attacking record and the best defensive record in the league; they would have to lose while conceding 2+ goals to fail to advance, and that happened just once in their 17 regular season games. In other words, La Fiera will like their chances in this one.
The Águilas looked the better team for long stretches, despite finding themselves in a situation where their “home” leg was played 140 miles from their home stadium – the game was relocated to Querétaro’s La Corregidora due to state-of-emergency levels of pollution in and around Mexico City due to brush fires.
Originally scheduled for Wednesday night, the first leg of the semifinal series between América and León was rescheduled to Thursday due to the state of emergency in Mexico City caused by pollution due to brush fires in the area; the game has now been moved out of the area entirely at the recommendation of local authorities.
Rather than the Estadio Azteca, América will now “host” the first leg in Querétaro’s La Corregidora, located about 140 miles away. Toluca’s Estadio Nemesio Diez, which is only about 40 miles away, was considered as the first option, but it too is in an area affected by the air pollution.
La Fiera were in a comfortable position going into this game after picking up a 3-1 away win in the first leg; the Xolos needed to win by three to move on, and León had the best defensive record in the league this season. The hosts could have sat back and let the first leg result be decisive, but instead they came out looking to win and they soon had the opening goal.
Saturday’s clash between these two will be a winner-takes-all affair after a draw on Wednesday night. Tigres, with both an away goal and the advantage of being the higher seed, are in a more comfortable position; in addition to a win, they would go through with either a goalless draw or another 1-1 result. The universitarios lost just once in El Volcán in the regular season, and drew just once as well; their other six games all ended in victories.
On the other hand, to say Pachuca did not travel well would be an understatement; the Tuzos did not win a single one of their nine away games, picking up four draws and five losses on their travels. They also managed just six goals on the road, while allowing 21. Pachuca will need a much better result here if they want to move on to the semifinals.
The game started off fairly evenly, with León looking somewhat stronger but neither team taking firm control. Then, in the 31st minute, the visitors took the lead. William Tesillo took the ball upfield and played José Juan Macías into the box, where he turned and beat Manuel Gibrán Lajud to make it 0-1.
Pachuca vs Tigres UANL – 8:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Pachuca (7th) finished off the regular season with a 2-1 loss to León, a result that ended their five-game unbeaten streak. They’ll look to bounce back in their quarterfinal opener, and they were unbeaten at home in the regular season, amassing an 8-0-0 record in the Estadio Hidalgo. They’ll look to put that home field advantage to good use here, especially knowing that they failed to win a single game on the road in the Clausura 2019. The Tuzos will need to get this series off to a good start if they want to advance. Pachuca was also plagued by defensive difficulties this season, and they allowed the most goals of any of the Liguilla teams – on the other hand, they allowed just five goals in their eight home matches, while scoring 26 of their own. Continue reading