Two of the biggest clubs in Mexico will face off in the championship final of the inaugural Leagues Cup next month, thanks to semifinal victories on Tuesday night.
Rescued by an own-goal equalizer deep in second-half injury time, Tigres UANL stormed back to stun Club America in the night's opening match, drawing level at 2-2 at the death and then outlasting Las Aguilas 5-3 in a penalty-kick shootout at BBVA Stadium in Houston. Los Felinos opened their Leagues Cup run with a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake on July 25.
It's the latest of many cup final appearances for Andre-Pierre Gignac and Tigres, a serial contender in Liga MX, Concacaf Champions League and beyond under longtime manager Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti. They claim seven league titles, three Copa MX triumphs, three Campeon de Campeones honors and one Campeones Cup in their cabinet at Estadio Universitario.
They'll aim to hoist their sixth piece of hardware in the past two years when they travel to Las Vegas for the title bout against Cruz Azul on Sept. 18 at Sam Boyd Stadium (10:30 pm ET | ESPN2, TUDN, TSN, TVAS).
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Cruz Azul earned their berth by holding off the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park in the night's other semi, riding a man-of-the-match outing from Orbelin Pineda to a 2-1 victory. La Maquina downed the Chicago Fire 2-0 in their Leagues Cup opener last month.
Based in Mexico City, Cruz Azul are eight-time league champs, four-time Copa MX winners and have taken top honors in CCL and its predecessor, Concacaf Champions Cup, a whopping six times. They won both Liga MX meetings with Tigres last season, both by a 1-0 scoreline.