The inaugural Campeones Cup title is going home with the big cats.
Paced by a brace from Jesus Dueñas, Tigres UANL defeated Toronto FC 3-1 at BMO Field Wednesday night, adding another item to their packed trophy case and taking a measure of revenge for TFC's victory when these teams clashed in the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League earlier this year.
Dueñas opened the scoring in the first half with a darting run from the Tigres left flank into space behind the Toronto defense, racing into the Reds' penalty box before beating goalkeeper Alex Bono at the near post. He doubled Los Felinos' lead shortly after the hour mark, sizing up a TFC half-clearance of a corner kick and lashing a superb first-time strike into the bottom left corner from some 25 yards out.
Mere moments later the outlook darkened even further for the home side when defender Eriq Zavaleta was victimized by his deflection of a centering pass, the ball wrongfooting Bono and trickling into the net for a 3-0 Tigres lead.
Toronto substitute Lucas Janson cut the deficit from the penalty spot after Dueñas handled a TFC cross in his team's box, though it would prove only a consolation goal as the Mexican giants salted away their victory to cram more suffering into the Reds' star-crossed 2018 campaign.
- 36' – TIG – Jesus Dueñas | WATCH
- 64' – TIG – Jesus Dueñas | WATCH
- 66' – TIG – Eriq Zavaleta (OG) | WATCH
- 86' – TOR – Lucas Janson (PK) | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Perennial trophy hunters Tigres were more than worthy winners, though TFC will wonder what might have been had one of their early corner-kick chances found the net, or had Sebastian Giovinco not departed the match just before halftime with calf cramps. In the end, this game was a microcosm of their season.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Dueñas' second goal was a thing of beauty, and it effectively broke the Reds' resistance, especially with Giovinco already off and Jozy Altidore following suit minutes later.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Last winter Jesus Dueñas reportedly came very close to joining Real Salt Lake; now he's played matchwinner in Tigres' latest big-game triumph.