December 23 – Tigres UANL cemented Mexico’s domination of the Concacaf Champions League after rallying to defeat Los Angeles FC 2-1 in the tournament’s final, extending Liga MX’s winning streak in the competition to 15 years.
Tigres had fallen in three of the last four finals, but Andre-Pierre Gignac proved the hero for the Mexicans striking in the 84th minute to hand Tigres their comeback win.
All the goals came in the second half with LAFC’s Diego Rossi getting in behind the Mexican defense to open the score in the 61st minute. Hugo Ayala equalised for Tigres with a header from a set piece in the 72nd minute.
Six minutes from time, the French striker Gignac was teed up at the edge of the box and he slotted home to deliver a dramatic win for the Liga MX club at Orlando City’s Exploria Stadium, where the final, the region’s flagship club match, was played behind closed doors.
The goal was Gignac’s sixth in the Champions League, giving him the golden boot. During his time at Tigres, Gignac has developed into a cult figure with fans.
The striker and his club from San Nicolas de los Garza will now go on to represent North America, Middle America and the Caribbean at the FIFA Club World Cup in February. No team from the Major League Soccer has ever participated in the tournament, highlighting Mexico’s stranglehold on the Champions League.
Bayern Munich (Europe), Al Ahly (Africa), Ulsan Hyundai (Asia), Auckland City (Oceania) and Al Duhail (Hosts) are the other finalists. Conmebol’s Copa Libertadores will come to a finish late in January to determine the last entrant.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1611022433labto1611022433ofdlr1611022433owedi1611022433sni@o1611022433fni1611022433