Club America's Oribe Peralta (pictured) tries to turn on a visiting Necaxa defender in their Liga MX Apertura semifinal, second-leg match on December 4, 2016, in Mexico City. (Photo: Luis Licona/Straffon Images)
MEXICO CITY – Club America and Tigres will once again battle for a trophy when they meet in the two-legged 2016 Liga MX Apertura final later this month.
The sides triumphed in semifinal series that concluded Sunday, meaning that they will be pitted against each other for Liga MX honors for the second time in the last five seasons. Regardless of the outcome, both secured places in the 2017/18 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
Club America prevailed over Tigres in the finals of the 2014 Liga MX Apertura (agg: 3-1) and the 2015/16 SCCL (agg: 4-1).
CONCACAF.com recaps the action:
2016 LIGA MX APERTURA
Semifinals, Second Leg
December 3, 2016
Estadio Universitario – San Nicolas de los Garza
(3) Tigres 2, (8) Leon 1
Tigres advances to final (agg: 3-1)
Tigres fell behind early, but replied with a pair of unanswered goals to defeat visiting Leon, 2-1, and advance to the final, 3-1 on aggregate.
Luis Montes put the visitor ahead 1-0 in the 17th minute, when his right-footed attempt off a half-volley from outside the box appeared to deflect slightly off the hand of Anselmo Vendrechovski Junior (Juninho), before cruising into the left side of the net.
UANL leveled in the second minute of first-half stoppage time. Ivan Estrada delivered a feed into the right side of the penalty area for Andre-Pierre Giganc. The France international cut the ball back in order to elude sliding defender Guillermo Burdisso and then placed a left-footed shot inside the left post from seven-yards out, extending his scoring streak to three games.
In the 69th minute, Tigres head coach Ricardo Ferretti replaced Ismael Sosa with Lucas Zelarayan and the move paid dividends eight minutes later. Jesus Duenas lifted a ball from right to left across the 18-yard box for Zelarayan, who curled a right-footed effort into the far-side netting.
Gignac now has five goals in his last three playoff matches.
- Tigres is unbeaten in seven of its last eight 2016 Liga MX Apertura games (5W-2D-1L)
- Tigres has conceded only one goal in its 294 minutes of 2016 Liga MX Apertura play
- After going unbeaten in 11 straight 2016 Liga MX Apertura games, Leon has lost three straight
- Leon has scored one goal in its last two 2016 Liga MX Apertura games after scoring eight in its previous three
December 4, 2016
Estadio Azteca – Mexico City
(5) Club America 2, (7) Necaxa 0
Club America advances to final (agg: 3-1)
Club America held off determined visitor Necaxa, which hit the post in the first half, striking twice in match’s latter stages to post a 2-0 win in front of 68,534 fans at the Estadio Azteca and capture the series 3-1 on aggregate.
William Da Silva ran onto a clever through ball by Carlos Darwin Quintero and poked past goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero with the outside of his left foot from 18-yards out to make it 1-0 in the 75th minute.
With six minutes left in normal time, Oribe Peralta netted an insurance goal, staying on-side to receive a neat pass from the agile Osvaldo Martinez in the left side of the box and toeing the ball over Barovero from 12-yards out.
- Club America is unbeaten in 12 straight 2016 Liga MX Apertura games (5W-7D-0L)
- Club America has conceded one goal or fewer in 11 of its last 12 Liga MX matches … and has scored at least one goal in each game over that same stretch
- Necaxa lost for the first time in its last six 2016 Liga MX Apertura matches (2W-3D-1L)
- Necaxa went winless against Club in 2016 Liga MX Apertura play (0-2-1)