Tigres captures 2016 Liga MX Apertura crown on PKs

Tigres (pictured) celebrates after earning the Liga MX Apertura title by overcoming visiting Club America on penalty kicks on December 25, 2016, in San Nicolas de los Garza. (Photo: Tomas Palacios/Straffon Images)

SAN NICOLAS DE LOS GARZA, Mexico – Tigres prevailed over Club America, 3-0 on penalty kicks, to capture the 2016 Liga MX Apertura title, following a 1-1 draw after extra time on Sunday in the second leg of a series that finished 2-2 on aggregate.

It was UANL’s fifth domestic crown, but the first time it overcame Club America in their last three final meetings. In their previous two meetings in a decider, Club America triumphed in the 2014 Liga MX Apertura (agg: 3-1) and the 2015/16 SCCL (agg: 4-1).

In the penalty shootout, Tigres converted each of its attempts through Andre-Pierre Gignac, Anselmo Vendrechovski “Juninho” and Guido Pizarro, while goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman saved efforts from the trio of William Da Silva, Silvio Romero and Javier Guemez.

A scoreless opening 90 minutes gave way to a pair of extra-time goals.

Club America went up 1-0 in the 95th minute, when Pablo Aguilar back-headed Michael Arroyo’s left-sided corner kick to the top of the six-yard box, where Edson Alvarez was positioned to head past Guzman.

In the 119th minute, Tigres leveled through an unmarked Jesus Dueñas, who headed home from 11-yards out off Jurgen Damm’s cross from the right edge of the box.

By reaching the Apertura final, both Tigres and Club America qualified for the 2017/18 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.