- Tigers beat LAFC in CONCACAF Champions League final
- The Mexicans had lost three finals
- Gignac at the height of his art
The Tigers won the CONCACAF Champions League for the first time after reversing the score in the 2020 final against Los Angeles FC (2-1). The Mexicans put an end to a series of three finals lost in the last five years. They will play the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020.
The competition ended on December 22, after being suspended in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The second leg quarter-finals, semi-finals and final were contested in a sanitary bubble in Orlando, Florida.
The way to Qatar
Tigres started with a surprising loss to Salvadorans Alianza, before catching up at home in the second set. Then, André-Pierre Gignac and his partners were untouchable until the final coronation.
In the quarterfinals, they beat New York City (5-0 in aggregate score), then Olimpia (3-0) in the semifinals, before taking the best of LAFC in the final to open the doors to Qatar 2020. In the final, the Mexicans were first led before reversing the trend in the last half hour (final score 2-1).
The key moments
A Central American history
Despite his 3-0 defeat in the semi-finals, Olimpia was not unworthy. The club led by Pedro Troglio made history by beating the Montreal Impact in the quarter-finals, becoming the first Honduran team to reach the last four of the Champions League. Performance all the more remarkable since after the first leg in Canada, the return took place behind closed doors, in the Orlando health bubble.
A very worthy vice-champion
If it failed to interrupt the supremacy of Mexican clubs which, thanks to Tigres, have just signed a 14th consecutive crown in the competition, Los Angeles FC has come very close to triumph. In their journey to the final, the Californians ruled out three Mexican teams (León, Cruz Azul and América), which no MLS club had achieved in the history of the tournament. Led by Carlos Vela, LAFC hope to confirm in the future.
Gignac, like good wines
At 35, André-Pierre Gignac is at the top of his game. Top scorer in the competition with six goals, the Frenchman was also voted best player of the event. In the final, when we seemed to be heading straight for extra time, he offered his team the continental title goal in the dying minutes, with a strike from outside the box.
Youth in power
During the 90 minutes of the final, Los Angeles FC displayed football based on an abundance of physical energy and a lot of tactical discipline. Bob Bradley’s team put their youth to good use by attacking in numbers, but never forgetting, as soon as the ball was lost, to come down and cover the spaces immediately. Ecuadorian Diego Palacios won the trophy for best young player.
Did you know ?
Nahuel Guzmán, the Tigres goalkeeper, played a fundamental role in the journey to the coronation. Not only was he uncompromising in three of his side’s six matches in the competition, but in the round of 16, as the Mexicans were close to elimination against Alianza, the keeper stepped on a free kick and went offered his club the qualification for the quarter-finals with a victorious header.