Tigres' Javier Aquino (blue jersey) in Liga MX Apertura action against host Club America on July 30, 2016, in Mexico City. (Photo: Carlos Ramirez/Straffon Images)
ZUAZUA, Mexico – Tigres is hoping that the third time will be the charm when it meets Club America in the 2016 Liga MX final.
The sides have met in two deciders over the last two years – the 2014 Liga MX Apertura and the 2015/16 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League – and Club America came out on top both times.
UANL winger Damian Alvarez is eager to reverse that trend.
“We have played two finals with America in the last two seasons and we have lost them,” the 37-year-old said. “It’s time to stop that. We want to win it. We finish out at home and I feel that we have a very good chance, more so for what has happened previously. It has to be special for us.”
At the same time, Alvarez was quick to stress that motivation won’t be derived solely by avenging past setbacks. Rather, he prefers that Tigres relies on its own strengths and merits.
“It is not about revenge toward America,” remarked Alvarez, who has won three Mexican league titles. “It’s a special moment for us because it’s good. Decembers are there for us. We should try to be champions.”
Due to a scheduling quirk, the first leg will not be played until December 22, after Club America’s commitments at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan have been completed.
Alvarez noted that it just as easily been could have been Tigres competing for the opportunity to meet European champion Real Madrid in the semifinals.
“We have to think that we could have been in that situation of going to play with good teams, taking on Real Madrid in the semifinal and later the league,” he finished. “I don’t think it is an excuse for America and I would’ve liked to do it as well.”
In their only Apertura meeting, Tigres topped visiting Club America, 3-0, on July 30, as Javier Aquino, Andre-Pierre Gignac and Ismael Sosa netted the goals.