Apertura 2016 Gran Final 2nd Leg-Tigres 1, America 1 (Tigres 3-0 PK)

The second leg of the Apertura Gran Final clearly showed that while it may have been Christmas, America & Tigres were in anything but a festive mood, especially late in the game that wound up going all the way down to the wire. At the end of regulation both sides played to a 0-0 tie, leaving the aggregate at 1-1. But since tiebreakers apparently don’t apply in the finals, they went to extra time. But Tigres nearly threw it away late in a very physical regulation then Jorge Torres drew the second of his 2 Amarillas on the night…Rojas! HE GONE! Tigres would be forced to play the 30 extra minutes down a man! But then in the 100th minute when Hugo Ayala & Silvio Romero drew Amarillas things REALLY got heated and both sides-and benches-started going at it. That would lead to not 1, not 2, not 3, but FOUR Rojas! Cuatro Expulsiones! Rubens Sambueza, Paolo Goltz & Ventura Alvarado were all ejected for America in the ensuing Melee, while Jose Rivas was tossed for Tigres. This all came a few minutes after America seemed to have the championship all but locked up thanks to an Edson Alvarez header goal in the 94th minute. They took the 1-0 advantage into the second half of extra time, but with time about to run out on their title defense, Jesus Duenas headed in the tying goal for Tigres with only a couple minutes left in regulation! So extra time ended at 1-1, and thus the aggregate stayed tied at 2-2, so we go to PENALTY KICKS! Tigres went first, and of course sent out Andre-Pierre Gignac first, who played the entire game despite the injury scare in the first leg. He converted to put Tigres up 1-0, and they kept that edge in round 1 after William Da Silva missed the first attempt for America. In round 2, Anselmo Junior scored for Tigres but Silvio Romero missed for America, so 2-0 Tigres. Guido Pizarro scored in round 3 for Tigres, forcing America into a must-convert situation to stay alive, but Javier Guernez could not convert like those before him, so that ended it. With the 3-0 PK blanking after the 2-2 aggregate, as a result, Tigres are the Apertura 2016 Champions! It’s the second straight year they’ve won the Apertura and also guarantees they will have the chance to defend their Campeon de Campeones title in summer of 2017 after the Clausura 2017 Tournament concludes. And with that, the delayed between-tournament break begins and the second half of the season starts January 6. But both sides will start shorthanded following all the ejections, as we wait for an interesting Disciplinary Committee report to find out how long everyone will be suspended and if any get more than the automatic 1-game ban.

Game Stats:
Goals-Edson Alvarez (America, 94′, 1st of playoffs), Jesus Duenas (Tigres, 118′, 1st of playoffs), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres, PK shootout), Anselmo Junior (Tigres, PK shootout), Guido Pizarro (Tigres, PK shootout)
Shots on Goal-Tigres 2
Corner kicks-America 11, Tigres 4
Amarillas-America 5 (Bruno Valdez, 34′, Michael Arroyo, 59′, Pablo Aguilar, 90′, Silvio Romero, 100′, Miguel Samudio, 117′), Tigres 4 (Guido Pizarro, 21′, Jorge Torres, 68′, Torres, 89′, Hugo Ayala, 100′)
Rojas-America 3 (Rubens Sambueza, 101′, Paolo Goltz, 105+3′, Ventura Alvarado, 105+4′), Tigres 2 (Jorge Torres, 89′, Jose Rivas, 105+4′)

Venue: Estadio Universitario, Monterrey
Attendance: 41,615 (102.4%)-SELLOUT

Next up-Clausura 2017 Tournament