FOOTBALL

Tigres UANL heads to the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup for the first time in their history

The Mexican side made history on Tuesday night after defeating Los Angeles Football Club in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League final to obtain their ticket to Qatar.

Tigres UANL heads to the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup for the first time in their history
Alex Menendez AFP

It took four finals for Tigres UANL to finally win the CONCACAF Champions League after defeating Los Angeles FC 2-1 in the 2020 tournament’s final at the Exploria Stadium on Tuesday night. André-Pierre Gignac scored the game winning goal to lead Tigres to lift their first title in their history and to book a spot in the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup.

The Frenchman received the ball just outside the box and with his right foot he made a clinical shot to find the back of the net in the 84 minute of the game against LAFC. With the Concachampions trophy in the bag, Tigres will now be the region’s representative in the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar that is scheduled from 1-11 February.

"Today was our day as a club. We had the character to come back. Shout out to Monterrey. This is for the people of Monterrey, the office workers, this is for them,” said Gignac after the game.

This is the first time in their history that Tigres will attend this tournament and they will join Al Ahly (2020 CAF Champions League winners), FC Bayern Munich (2020 UEFA Champions League winners), Auckland City (OFC), Ulsan Hyundai (2020 AFC Champions League), the winners of the 2020 Copa Libertadores that will be determined in January 2021 and Al Duhail who are the hosts of the event.

Tigres wants to make history in Qatar

The Liga MX clubs have dominated the CONCACAF Champions League, but they have failed to reach the final in the FIFA Club World Cup. Tigres want to become the first Mexican club to reach the final of the tournament, but to do that they have to win their quarterfinal game and then face FC Bayern Munich in the semifinal. It will be a tough road for them, but with a Gignac on top shape anything can happen in a single elimination game.

History of Liga MX clubs in the Club World Cup since 2000

Brazil 2000

Necaxa became the first Liga MX club to participate in the tournament. That year they were in the same group as Manchester United, Vasco Da Gama and South Melbourne. The ‘Rayos’ ended in second place with four points, but only the top seed made it to the final. So they played for the third place winner against Real Madrid and they lost 4-3 in penalties.

Japan 2006

Club América won the CONCACAF Champions League winners a year before to book a ticket to the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup. The ‘Águilas’ defeated Jeonbuk Hyundai 1-0 in the quarterfinals to advance to the next round. In the semifinals they faced FC Barcelona and América lost 4-0 and then played for the third palace winner, but lost 2-1 against Al-Ahly from Egypt.

Japan 2007 and 2008

Pachuca made it to the Club World Cup for the first time in their history, but they lost 1-0 in the quarterfinals against Étoile Sportive du Sahel from Tunnessia. One year later, the Liga MX side qualified again to the tournament and they defeated Al-Ahly 4-2 in the quarterfinals. In the next round they suffered a loss against the Copa Libertadores winners, Liga de Quito, and then they lost the third place match 2-0 against Gamba Osaka.

Abu Dhabi 2009

Atlante booked their ticket to Abu Dhabi that year and they defeated Auckland City in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals they lost 3-1 against FC Barcelona who was led by Lionel Messi and head coach Pep Guardiola. Then they lost in penalties against Pohang Steelers for the third place winner.

Abu Dhabi 2010

This was Pachuca’s worst participation in the FIFA Club World Cup because they lost in the quarterfinals against TP Mazembe. The Liga MX side managed to finish in fifth place after defeating the hosts, Al-Wahda.

Abu Dhabi 2011, Japan 2012 and Morocco 2013

This was Monterrey’s first opportunity to make history in the FIFA Club World Cup. Unfortunately, it was their worst participation because they lost in penalties against Kashiwa Reysol in the quarterfinals. One year later, Monterrey learned their lesson and beat Al-Hyundai 3-1 in their debut game. In the semifinals they lost 3-1 against Chelsea, but ended up winning the third place after defeating Al-Ahly.

Monterrey made an impressive run in the CONCACAF Champions League because they won it three years in a row. The Liga MX booked their ticket to the 2013 tournament and they lost 5-1 in their debut match against the hosts, Raja Casablanca.

Morocco 2014

It was the time for Cruz Azul to give it a shot at the Club World Cup. The ‘Machine’ was able to defeat Western Sydney Wandered in the quarterfinals in overtime, but they suffered a tough 4-0 loss against Real Madrid in the next round. Cruz Azul ended the tournament fourth place after losing to Auckland City.

Japan 2015

América returned to the tournament after nine years, but they had their worst participation in 2015. The ‘Eagles’ lost in their debut match against Guangzhou Evergrande and ended up in fifth place after defeating TP Mazembe. One year later they would return to the Club World Cup and in their debut match they defeated Hyundai Motors, but in the semifinals they lost against Real Madrid. They ended up in fourth place in that tournament after losing to Atlético Nacional on penalties in their last game.