Tigres player Guido Pizarro celebrates the final goal against Chivas in the Liga MX final.Cesar Gomez (Getty Images)
It was a final of coincidences. Six years ago, on the same field of Akron Stadium, Chivas and Tigres played the final of Mexican soccer. It was exactly a Sunday, May 28. The result in 2017 was a hard-fought victory for Chivas. That was a feast through the streets of Guadalajara. This year, the felines took revenge in one of their worst tournaments by having more technicians (three) than consecutive wins. It was enough for them to be seventh (the best eight qualify and there is a repechage) in the regular tournament to stay with the League. They symbolize the Mexican term of "pasar de panzazo", winning with minimal effort. The felines, very crooked and effective in taking advantage of their strengths, frustrated the rojiblancos (2-3). Feline glory.
The rojiblancos were sheltered from the anthem of Mexico. They won a point in morale. The Guadalajara players were burning the ball, their eagerness to take the initiative was so great that they missed the most accessible passes possible. Chivas insisted on creating goal lines. In a ball blocked and fought by Roberto Alvarado, those led by Veljko Paunovic were unleashed. El Piojo Alvarado left the Tigres defense buried to sneak in on the right, cross the ball and send it to the bottom. The goal burst the eardrums in the stands of Akron Stadium. If there was anything to watch out for, it was the badly injured Tigers. Within minutes, the Cats had an invaluable goal option when Gignac was in front of the goal. It was one of his traditional headers that end in celebration. There was nothing, just frustration.
What there was was the second goal of Guadalajara. Víctor Guzmán, rojiblanco captain, finished with a play from a corner kick. Alexis Vega, the 10th thinnest, put a center and Guzman finished flush with the grass. A 2-0 in less than 20 minutes. That left the feline team touched that could not find the way to cut distances. The initial 45 minutes were whistled red-and-white. The second half began with some Tigers who tried to look for answers on the bench. The feline insistence forced Paunovic to look for some alternative to try to close the game. He sent Vega to the bench and, instantly, the referee whistled a penalty against Chivas for a hand of the central Briseño. Hard setback for the Serbian strategist who lost all strength on the left wing.
Gignac asked for the ball and put the 2-1 despite the goalkeeper Miguel Jimenez threw himself to the right side, but did not have the desired elasticity. The drama increased. Córdova made an acrobatic shot that was well saved by the goalkeeper Jimenez. It was just a warning of what was coming. The scare was in the chiva body until the same Córdova finished with a header to even the game. The impetus was lost by the Tapatíos who had to defend, whatever it was, the tie but there was already a lot of anxiety and the stands were filled with doubts.
In the stretch, Jimenez again thwarted the winning shot to Tigres when he made a double save to Gignac. Chivas, already without energy in their legs, needs something extraordinary. The moment was of the regiomontanos who wanted to take everything to penalties. Or that was the deception. Guido Pizarro scored after a series of rebounds against Chivas' pain. Lethal jab for the Tapatíos to the jaw. The Tigers, who like to be the villains in Liga MX, have already embroidered the eighth star that credits them as champions. The sixth in the last six years. Those commanded by Gignac can already boast that they took the crown from the two greats of Mexico: America (2016) and now Chivas.
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