After a 2-week delay due to a club tournament conflict, the Apertura 2016 Gran Final began tonight with America & Tigres playing an intense, hard-fought game that wound up ending in a 1-1 tie. America blew an early chance when they were basically gifted a penalty kick in the 25th minute (TV cameras showed Tigres coach Ricardo Feretti rather displeased) but Oribe Peralta couldn’t convert. Right before halftime Tigres got on the board-you guessed it, Andre-Pierre Gignac worked his magic again for his 6th of the tournament. But America managed the equalizer in the 68th minute when Bruno Valdez deflected in an errant Pablo Aguilar header attempt on a corner kick. The physicality of the game came at a potentially catastrophic price for Tigres in a very scary moment in the 71st minute…Gignac went down and stayed down after what looked like an elbow to the back of the head or neck from an America player as they both went up for the ball. Gignac stayed down as trainers and medics worked on him and was taken off on a gurney. TV showed an ambulance, presumably with Gignac inside, leaving Estadio Azteca about 15 minutes later as the game wound down. As of 9 PM PT there has been no further update from Tigres’ medical staff on his condition, but if he misses the second leg of the Gran Final it could be the death blow for Tigres’ hopes of repeating as Apertura champion. They do have the important away goal for tiebreaker purposes, but it could be much tougher to win without him even at home.
More on Gignac’s status as it becomes available.
Goals-Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres, 45′, 6th of playoffs), Bruno Valdez (America, 68′, 1st of playoffs)
Shots on Goal-America 2
Corner kicks-America 4, Tigres 3
Amarillas-America 3 (Jose Guerrero, 10′, Rubens Sambueza, 37′, Oribe Peralta, 82′), Tigres 3 (Hugo Ayala, 7′, Jesus Duenas, 27′, Ivan Estrada, 81′)
Venue: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
Attendance: 71,780 (87.8% capacity)
Next up-Gran Final 2nd leg Sunday at Tigres (6 PM ET/3 PM PT)