The Clausura 2017 champion will be decided on Sunday night when Chivas de Guadalajara hosts Tigres UANL in the decisive second leg of the Gran Final.
Thursday’s first leg finished in a 2-2 draw, which leaves the series delicately balanced. There are no tiebreakers in the Gran Final, so any aggregate draw will send the game to extra time and then penalties if needed; the second leg is therefore a winner-takes-all affair.
A late brace by André-Pierre Gignac gave Tigres UANL a 2-2 draw with Chivas de Guadalajara in the first leg of the Clausura 2017 Gran Final. El Rebaño saw their 0-2 lead disappear in a three-minute span and the series is now delicately balanced ahead of the crucial second leg.
The universitarios came out looking to extend their winning streak in front of their home crowd, but Rodolfo Cota came up big for Chivas with saves on Lucas Zelarayán and Jesús Dueñas to keep the game goalless.
Then, in the 22nd minute, the visitors struck. Nahuel Guzmán couldn’t effectively clear a corner kick and Alan Pulido was there to make his former team pay, giving Chivas the 0-1 lead.
Tigres UANL beat Tijuana 0-2 in the second leg of their semifinal series to give the universitarios the 4-0 aggregate victory and a spot in the Clausura 2017 Gran Final.
Tijuana came out looking to make their home-field advantage count as they needed to overturn the first-leg deficit against a Tigres side that has looked very dangerous in the playoffs. The Xolos found their first clear chance in the 13th minute, but Nahuel Guzmán was able to make the save on Milton Caraglio’s header.
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 drew 1-1 with Toluca in the second leg of their semifinal series, resulting in a 2-2 aggregate score. With away goals level at one apiece, the higher-seed tiebreaker went into effect, putting Chivas in the final as the third seed to Toluca’s fourth.
Chivas was in the better position going into tonight, thanks to their away goal in the first leg as well as their position as the higher seed; all they needed to do was maintain the 0-0 scoreline to move on, but the hosts were eager to score a goal or two to give themselves even more security. In the 10th minute, Orbelín Pineda came close, only to be denied by the crossbar.