Tigres draw with America in Liga MX final 1st leg

A 71st-minute equalizer from Ozziel Herrera provided current title-holders Tigres with a 1-1 draw at home against regular season leaders Club America in the first leg of the Liga MX final.

Held in a sold-out Estadio Universitario on Thursday, the match immediately began as a scrappy one with yellow cards for Tigres' Rafael Carioca and Club America's Igor Lichnovsky within the first eight minutes. With plenty of back-and-forth battles in the midfield, both sides struggled with finding shots on target until late into the first half.

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Shortly before the midway break, Tigres manager Robert Dante Siboldi had to make an unexpected change in his XI after central defender Samir Caetano suffered an injury. Moments before the halftime whistle, substitute Diego Reyes was brought on for Caetano in the 49th minute.

Additional problems for Tigres emerged in the start of the second half.

Recharged by the intermission, Club America hit the ground running with immediate pressure after returning to the pitch. By the 48th minute, Las Aguilas would later earn a penalty after winger Julián Quiñones was fouled in the 18-yard box by fullback Jesús Angulo.

With a chance to gain a lead, Club America striker Henry Martín slotted the ball past goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman, thereby giving the visitors a 1-0 advantage in the 51st minute.

Suddenly behind on the scoresheet, Tigres increased their attacking intensity by the midpoint of the second half. With additional help from substitutes Raymundo Fulgencio, Nicolas Ibañez and Herrera, the title-holders then began to make more dangerous runs forward.

Eventually gaining a corner in their favor after expanding their attacking momentum, Tigres equalized after Herrera headed in a cross from Sebastian Cordova in the 71st minute.

Despite both sides creating additional opportunities in the dying stages of the first leg, neither scored a second goal of the night, eventually finishing with a 1-1 draw by the final whistle.

On Sunday, Club America will host the second leg in Mexico City's Estadio Azteca. If the aggregate scoreline remains level, the upcoming match will go to extra time, and if needed, penalties to decide the next Liga MX champion.

While Club America are looking to extend their record tally of Liga MX titles to 14, Tigres will be aiming for back-to-back championships after winning the 2023 Clausura trophy.


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