Former Orlando City midfielder Yoshi Yotun hit the go-ahead penalty in the 73rd minute and assisted the insurance tally as Cruz Azul won the first annual Leagues Cup by a 2-1 scoreline, over fellow Liga MX side Tigres at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
The final was a feisty affair, with the teams scuffling in the first half and at risk of losing players to red cards, but the referee opted to allow the teams to continue at full strength, although Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman received his marching orders in second-half stoppage time.
Yotun struck first for La Maquina from the spot before the Peruvian set up Uruguayan winger Jonathan Rodriguez two minutes later for the eventual game-winner. Guido Pizarro grabbed a late goal for Tigres to give them hope, but it was too little, too late for Tuca Ferretti's side.
Cruz Azul's road to the title came through MLS, as they defeated the Chicago Fire 2-0 in the first-ever Leagues Cup match, before besting the LA Galaxy 2-1 in the semifinal round. Tigres, meanwhile, downed Real Salt Lake 1-0, before advancing past Club América in a penalty shootout to reach the final. The Houston Dynamo also participated in the inaugural Leagues Cup tournament.
The Leagues Cup, played between MLS and Liga MX teams, will expand to 16 teams in 2020, eight sides from each league, with MLS's representatives to be the top four finishers in each conference in the 2019 MLS regular season who do not qualify for the 2020 Concacaf Champions League.