Chivas, Tigres make for a powerful, historic Liga MX Clausura final matchup
Liga MX's final is chock full of storylines.
Storied Chivas Guadalajara is back playing for the title, and it's going up against a powerful club whose recent successes continue to pile up. Winners of the last two Apertura titles, Tigres UANL has been on an absolute tear during the Liguilla, rolling through the opening two rounds on a 10-1 aggregate and looking every bit the part of a champion.
The same can't be said for Chivas, which has eked through the quarterfinals and semifinals via tiebreaker, by virtue of having a better regular-season campaign than both Atlas and Toluca. In fact, Chivas has just one win in its last nine league matches and fell to Tigres 3-0 in their lone Clausura meeting. All that matters is reaching the final stage, though, which the club most certainly has done.
Tigres will host the opening leg of the final Thursday night before the series shifts to Estadio Omnilife on Sunday, where the champion will be crowned.
Here's a closer look at the star-studded matchup:
CHIVAS PLAYS FOR HISTORY
Chivas has had to sit back and watch as bitter rival Club America seized control of the most domestic league titles in Mexico. Without an Apertura or Clausura title since 2006, Chivas has seen America has become Mexico's most successful club, with Las Aguilas winning their 12th title with the 2014 Apertura, while claiming the last two CONCACAF Champions League titles as well. Trailing America by one domestic title, Chivas–who were ousted by America in the Apertura Liguilla–can pull even and make true statement that it has returned to greatness.
THE DOUBLE, PART 1
Chivas won the Copa MX title in penalties last month, ousting Morelia in the final to lift the trophy. A Clausura title would give the club a domestic double, which hasn't been achieved since 1995–no small feat.
THE DOUBLE, PART 2
Tigres won the Apertura, beating America in penalties and preventing the club from winning a 13th title. Leon was the last club to successfully pull off the Apertura-Clausura double, doing so in 2013-14, and Tigres can reach rarified air by doing the same.
Tigres UANL features French striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, whose eight goals were one shy of the league lead during the Clausura. He added four more in the quarterfinal rout of Monterry. None of them came from the penalty spot. Jesus Duenas, Javier Aquino and Jurgen Damm help add to perhaps the most explosive attack in the league.
Chivas had a more balanced scoring approach, with Alan Pulido's five goals leading the club in the regular campaign, followed by Rodolfo Pizarro's four.
ROAD TO THE FINAL
Quarterfinals: Beat Monterrey (6-1 on aggregate)
Semifinals: Beat Tijuana (4-0 on aggregate)
Quarterfinals: Beat Atlas on tiebreaker (1-1 aggregate draw)
Semifinals: Beat Tolcua on tiebreaker (2-2 aggregate draw)