Clausura 2017 Tournament Finals Game 2 Results: Guadalajara 2, Tigres 1

The Clausura 2017 Gran Final is now in the books, and the all-night party is on in Guadalajara, as for the first time in over a decade the Chivas are Campeones! Guadalajara edged Tigres in a hard-fought 2-1 win that went down to the wire. Alan Pulido gave the Chivas the early lead in the 16th minute, then Jose Vasquez added a second goal in the 69th minute to make it 2-0. But as in the first game, Tigres wouldn’t go down easily-Ismael Sosa’s 88th-minute goal gave Tigres late hope, but 5+ minutes of intense extra time wasn’t enough as Guadalajara held on for a 4-3 total victory. The intensity didn’t stop there as one Tigres player was seen chasing a Guadalajara player afterwards like he was looking to fight him, and in the postmatch awards ceremony at least two Tigres players did not want to receive consolation medals from Liga MX President Enrique Bonilla, and also refused to go down the post-medal handshake line with Guadalajara, but at least coach Ricardo Ferretti was very gracious in defeat and shared a congratulatory handshake & embrace with Chivas coach Matias Almeyda, who was seen really living it up on the celebration and festivities, as he’s now led the Chivas to their 12th Liga MX Championship. The best part of all? REMATCH! The teams will now face off in the Campeon de Campeones on July 16 for the Grand Championship. The other big winner tonight was America, as with the Chivas winning the title America will now get to play in SUPERCOPA MX, replacing Guadalajara and facing Queretaro the same day.

Game Stats:
Goals-Alan Pulido (Guadalajara, 16, 2nd of playoffs), Jose Vasquez (Guadalajara, 69′, 1st of playoffs), Ismael Sosa (Tigres, 88′, 1st of playoffs)
Shots on Goal-Tigres 6, Guadalajara 1
Corner kicks-Tigres 6, Guadalajara 1
Amarillas-Tigres 5 (Javier Aquino, 13′, Andre-Pierre Gignac, 71′,Damian Alvarez, 82′, Nahuel Guzman, 85′, Sosa, 90′), Guadalajara 2 (Pulido, 85′, Vasquez, 89′)

Venue: Estadio Chivas, Zapopan, Jalisco
Attendance: 45,354 (99.97% capacity)-just 10 short of a sellout

Next up: Rematch in the Campeon de Campeones July 16 in Carson, CA; America to replace Guadalajara in SUPERCOPA MX vs. Queretaro

Disciplinary Commission Update (Updated)

The Disciplinary Commission announced today the results of it’s investigation into incidents taking place just after the Monterrey-Tigres quarterfinal game at Monterrey-for violating Article 51 of the Sanctions & Regulations, Monterrey is given an undisclosed fine and a stadium veto, meaning the first game next year at Estadio BBVA Bancomer will be closed. That means a potential 52,000+ disappointed fans.

5/29 UPDATE: Monterrey has appealed the stadium veto penalty to the Appeals Commission.

Clausura 2017 Finals Game 1: Tigres 2, Guadalajara 2

The Gran Final kicked off tonight, and for 83 minutes it looked like two things that hadn’t yet happened this postseason would happen-Tigres wouldn’t score and Tigres wouldn’t win. Guadalajara was well on their way to a shutout win and being halfway to the title, but things took a dramatic turn in the final minutes and what looked like at least a 2-0 Chivas win turned into a 2-2 tie. Guadalajara got goals from Alan Pulido & Rodolfo Pizarro to take a 2-0 lead into the second half, and it held up until the 84th minute. Much to the delight of the Tigres faithful, Andre-Pierre Gignac then decided to re-discover his magic after being held scoreless in the semifinals and scored two unanswered goals just 3 minutes apart to salvage the tie and set up the winner-take-all second game Sunday. And no team may be pulling for Tigres harder than Tijuana, because if Tigres does win the Championship, Tijuana gets to play them in the Campeon de Campeones. And America may want the Chivas to win because they would replace them in SUPERCOPA MX. Either way someone will get an extra big game before next year starts.

Game Stats:
Goals-Alan Pulido (Guadalajara, 22′, 1st of playoffs), Rodolfo Pizarro (Guadalajara, 41′, 1st of playoffs), Andre-Pierre Gignac 2 (Tigres, 84′, 87′, 6th of playoffs)
Shots on Goal-Tigres 3
Corner kicks-Guadalajara 4, Tigres 2
Amarillas-Guadalajara 2 (Rodolfo Cota, 78′, Miguel Ponce, 83′), Tigres 1 (Jesus Duenas, 90+3′)

Venue: Estadio Universitario, San Nicolas de los Garza, Nuevo Leon
Attendance: 41,625 (100.02% capacity)-SELLOUT

Next up: Game 2 Sunday at Guadalajara

Assembly Press Conference Highlights

The “Ordinary Assembly” meeting of the league was held earlier today, after which Liga MX┬áPresident Enrique Bonilla held an open press conference. Highlights and notes coming out of the presser:
The 2017-2018 calendar was agreed on-July 15 & 16 will be the Day of Champions with the Golden Ball presentation, SUPERCOPA MX & Campeon de Campeones. Bonilla announced with regards to the games on the 16th what basically are contingency plans that will come in to play: If Guadalajara wins the Clausura 2017 Championship they will not play in SUPERCOPA MX, and will be replaced by America, who would get the spot by virtue of most points in COPA MX stage play. If Tigres wins the Clausura there still will be a Grand Championship, they will play the team that scored the most points over both tournaments-that would mean they would (again) face Tijuana. In that case the Chivas would still play in SUPERCOPA MX.
The Apertura 2017 Tournament will begin July 21, with the 2017-18 COPA MX beginning July 25. The Clausura 2018 Tournament will start January 5, with the COPA MX Clausura starting January 11. Finals will be November 2 (Apertura) & April 11 (Clausura). There could be some schedule changes if Pachuca reaches the Liga MX Apertura 2017 Finals.
There will be 3 “double dates” next year, weekends with no Friday night game. Those will be Apertura weeks 6 & 11 and Clausura week 7.
The league will take 4 weeks off during the year for FIFA dates. Those periods will be September 2-6, October 7-11, November 11-15 & March 24-28.

The Liga MX Women’s structure for their next season was announced. The majority of the players will be under 23 years old, with each team allowed 2 players older than 23. Players under 17 will be limited to a total of 720 minutes. The league will mirror the U-15 structure, meaning it will expand to 16 teams. The only teams that will not have women’s teams are Puebla (financial issues) & Lobos BUAP (promotion-will be eligiblw in 2018-19).
The teams will be divided into 2 groups of 8: Group 1 will be Pachuca, Toluca, Tijuana, America, Veracruz, Pumas, Morelia & Cruz Azul. Group 2 will be Atlas, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Santos, Queretaro, Leon, Tigres & Necaxa.

At this point Bonilla took questions from the press in attendance:
Regarding rumors that Puebla is for sale, Bonilla indicated that is not the case. They were merely asked to increase their guarantee from 5 million dollars to 10 million and have all their debts paid off by the start of the season. Regarding sanctions against Fidel Kuri (I think he’s the club owner), Bonilla said his case did not come before the Assembly today as it still is in the Disciplinary Commission. That should be done later this week then the Corporate Practices Committee will take it up.
Regarding the ongoing issue of Chiapas Jaguares and their debts, Bonilla said that issue will be taken up at the next meeting on May 3 but all their debts must be paid by the start of the new year or they face sanctions up to possible exclusion from the league, which would mean being out of Ascenso MX.
Finally, Bonilla made a brief comment on Lobos and their promotion to Liga MX after winning the Ascenso MX Championship-he was confident that as a “serious institution” they would continue to fulfill all their requirements post-promotion as they did in the Ascenso.

CONCACAF Champions League 2017-2018 Teams Set

With the Clausura 2017 Gran Final matchup now official, the league has announced the 4 teams that have now earned the right to participate in the 2017-2018 CONCACAF Champions League. Normally the Apertura & Clausura Champions & sub-champions (Finals losers) get to participate, but because Tigres made the finals in both tournaments this year, the Clausura Champion spot instead goes to the regular season champion by agreement of the league-that means Tijuana will get to participate along with Tigres (Apertura Champion), America (Apertura finalist/runner-up) & Guadalajara (Clausura finalist by virtue of their advancing this weekend).
The league also noted there is a new format for the Champions League next year, so the qualifying teams will not start League play until the second half of the season, which is the second phase of the tournament.

Clausura 2017 Semifinals Game 2: Tigres 2, Tijuana 0

The second ticket to the Gran Final was punched tonight, and Tigres are just one step away from a championship sweep after a second straight 2-0 win over Tijuana. Both Tigres goals came in the second half after Tijuana lost Guido Rodriguez to a Rojas! HE GONE! 2 Amarillas in just over 45 minutes ended his season and possibly his Tijuana time as he is rumored to be headed to America next year, but he’ll have to sit out week 1. Javier Aquino scored in the 63rd minute to pretty much put a Tijuana comeback out of reach, while Jurgen Damm added a stoppage time score to end the game. Tigres wins by a 4-0 total aggregate and will now move on to play Guadalajara for the Clausura 2017 Championship. The games should be played Thursday & next Sunday but more details should come tomorrow. This also may be the end of coach Miguel Herrera’s time in Tijuana as well, as there have been widespread reports he has already agreed to coach a different team next year, most likely America but we’ll see.

Game Stats:
Goals-Javier Aquino (Tigres, 63′, 1st of playoffs), Jurgen Damm (Tigres, 90+1′, 1st of playoffs)
Shots on Goal-Nil
Corner kicks-Tijuana 2, Tigres 1
Amarillas-Tijuana 4 (Guido Rodriguez 2, 5′, 48′, Damian Perez, 31′, Joe Corona, 84′), Tigres 2 (Andre-Pierre Gignac, 41′, Hugo Ayala, 69′)
Rojas-Tijuana 1 (Rodriguez, 48′)

Venue: Estadio Caliente, Tijuana
Attendance: 27,333 (100% capacity)-SELLOUT

Next up:
Tigres-Guadalajara in Game 1 of Gran Final (Thursday)
Tijuana-Apertura 2017 Tournament