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spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA
Pachuca PAC
1
Israel Luna 78'
Tigres TIG
2
Fernando Gorriaran 31',Nicolás Ibáñez 75'
Finished

Pachuca vs Tigres, summary: Luna, score, goals & highlights | Campeón de Campeones 2023

Update:
Tigres became the Campeón de Campeones as they overcame Pachuca at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles.

Campeón de Campeones 2023: as it happened

Tigres win their 4th Campeón de Campeones

Tigres were just too much for Pachuca to handle over 90 minutes, in a game that was like watching an acrobatic ninja be crushed by a sumo wrestler sitting on him. Pachuca spun around and danced in triangles across the pitch, but when it really mattered, Tigres had to firepower to turn up the dial and squash them flat. 

Gignac lead the line superbly for Los Felinos and linked up brilliantly well with both Quiñones and Gorriarán, who threatened time and time again with direct play, which is how to first goal arrived. Pachuca worked the ball well up the pitch but were caught out and watched on as Tigres took advantage of the space they left in behind.

The bigger and better chances eventually came for Tigres who took control the game's possession in the second half as they allowed the clock to slowly tick down.

Their second goal came through ex-Pachuca player Ibáñez after some shoddy Pachuca marking and the game looked done. 

Luna's looping header gave Los Tuzos life in the final stages and things could have gotten dicey for Tigres, but it was not to be, and Almada's side continued to huff and puff in front of the strong defence led by Reyes and Pizarro with Nahuel Guzmán in goal.

Tigres emerged worthy winners and will play LAFC, the winners of MLS Cup.

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Signing off...

That's all from AS USA and myself tonight, thanks to everyone who tuned in!

Make sure to head over to en.as.com for all the latest sport news.

Joe

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Tigres to face LAFC

MLS Cup winners LAFC will play Tigres. When we know the time and date, you'll know.

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The MVP award goes to...

Fernando Gorriarán, who grabbed the first goal of the game.

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90+7

Full time!

Tigres are the Campeón de Campeones!

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90+6

Luna hits a shot from distance that is saved by Nahuel.

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90+6

Pachuca are now pushing with 15 seconds to go...

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90+5

Tigres win a free-kick as Nico López goes down near the mangers' technical areas, allowing the side to force the clock along a little more.

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90+3

Tigres are, as they have been for the whole half, managing this time perfectly.

Pachuca may be allowed the ball but not in any areas of immediate danger, and if Los Tuzos attack, then the spaces left behind are perfect for Los Felinos to move into on the counter.

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90+1

Nahuel Guzmán gets a huge cheer after collecting a corner that was fired into a dangerous area of the box.

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90

6 added minutes. 

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90

Luna goes down under a challenge from Carioca who is booked for the offence.

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89

A huge defensive header from Reyes who appears to now be suffering from cramp.

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89

Samir and Garza ON

Quiñones and Angulo OFF

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87

We're back underway and Quiñones has made a miraculous recovery.

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86

Quiñones is down in what looks like a classic trick from page 35 of The Big Book of Dark Arts. 

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85

It's Pachuca with the momentum and the possession in the late stages of the game as Tigres are pressed inside their own box.

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84

López ON

Gorriarán OFF

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The replay shows that Carioca was actually hit in the face by the ball, not his arm. No penalty.

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83

Big, big shouts for handball as there appears to be contact by a Tigres player inside the box...

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The shot bounces a few times before being caught by Nahuel. No problems.

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80

Luna wins a free kick on the edge of the Tigres box... it's all happening now!

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Luna hits a fantastic header that loops over the top of Nahuel who was caught off his line. Here we go, ten interesting minutes coming up!

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Wow - I didn't expect that!

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GAME ON!

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79

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL

PACHUCA PULL ON BACK INSTANTLY!!!!

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78

We're back underway. The Tigres fans are in full flow in the stands.

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He was completely on his own at the far post as the ball was fired in from the left, and the diving header gave Ustari no chance to save the shot!

Quiñones' ball was ferocious and perfectly placed, but Pachuca's defending was very questionable as there were three players on their own just yards away from goal.

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NICO IBÁÑEZ

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76

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL

TIGRES DOUBLE THEIR LEAD

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76

Pachuca are pushed back into a low block as Tigres play the ball through the lines to the edge of the box, where they stop and fire in a cross from the left that is cleared. 

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75

It will be interesting to see how Tigres attack without Gignac, who has been their best player in my eyes.

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75

Ibáñez and Pizzuto ON

Gignac and Vigón OFF

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74

Ovelar ON

De la Rosa OFF 

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72

Nahuel Guzmán with some fantastic skills from the big book of the dark arts, spending the perfect amount of time on the floor with the ball in his hands, getting up just before the referee gets his whistle out of his pocket.

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71

Tigres have managed this half wonderfully: they look dangerous in various moments without overtly dominating proceedings, a bit like a boxer that tiptoes around the ring, dragging their weary opponent around as they throw aimless jabs in an attempt to do something, knowing a knockout blow could come at any second.

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Carioca whipped in a cross from the right and Vigón met the ball with a near-perfect header that spun towards the far post, past Ustari's grasp, and slammed off the upright!

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68

OFF THE POST!!

VIGÓN CAME SO CLOSE

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67

Pachuca perhaps need these changes, as they have struggled to create anything in the second half.

Gignac has had full control of the back-four and Gorriarán is finding him way too often through the middle third.

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66

Figueroa, Hinestroza and Marchand ON

Hernández, Pedraza, De la Fuente, OFF

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64

The ball is rolling again as Pachuca appear to be planning some changes.

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Byron Castillo is holding his Bryon's, which he looked to have twisted when he stood on the football by mistake.

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62

The game has been stopped and the medical teams are on to see to Castillo, who is on the floor. 

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60

Fulgencio hits a shot on the spin after another lovely piece of skill by Gignac to find his teammate on the edge of the box. Such a classy player.

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58

Another long ball lands on Gignac's head, and his touch is delightful towards Fulgencio on the left, who skips inside and sees his pass cut out.

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56

It's a strange game, as my eyes are telling me for the majority of the time that Pachuca are the better side, at least aesthetically.

But Tigres have such quality that they can make things happen in 5 seconds that cause me to rethink my evaluation of the game.

This one's no way near being decided just yet.

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Hernández, after a very eccentric run up, strikes a ferocious effort towards goal that is spectacularly saved at the near post by Guzmán!

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54

WHAT A SAVE FROM NAHUEL GUZMÁN!!

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52

Quiñones trips Hernández on the edge of the box and despite pleas from Aquino, Señor Cáceres gives the free-kick in a dangerous position.

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51

Illian Hernández ON

Di Yorio OFF

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50

Five minutes into the second half and Pachuca finally get their feet on the ball and the pim, pam, pim, pam click of the leather can be heard on synthetic boots as the possession swings the other way.

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48

It's Tigres with the ball in the opening stages as they try to keep Pachuca's dangermen out of sight.

They're fizzing the ball around in nice patterns between the defenders and into the midfielders and back again, drawing Los Tuzos out like a cobra from a bamboo box.

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No changes for either team, by the way.

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46

Gignac pressures Barreto and the defender wins the foul inside his own box. 

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46

And we're off again!

Pachuca get us going for the second 45 minutes. 

Will they manage to find a way back into the game?

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We're nearly ready for the second half...

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Half-time stats show an even game

Shots: Pachuca 5-5 Tigres

Shotsontarget: Pachuca 2-2 Tigres

Shotsofftarget: Pachuca 2-2 Tigres

Shotsblocked: Pachuca 1-1 Tigres

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Smiles all round from Tigres

Nahuel Guzmán has made one brilliant save so far, which came from a Di Yorio shot.

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Half-time report:

Until the goal, Pachuca looked the team most likely to score. The game began in a frantic fashion for both sides and neither team was able to have the ball long enough to establish any sort of dominance over the other. 

Guillermo Almada's men slowly began to find their usual passing triangles, and eventually had Tigres pinned back where they wanted them, around 30 yards outside their box.

But that worked well for Gignac and co., who used Pachuca's expansive and aggressive style to their benefit, finding space for the Frenchman to take the ball down and start an attack by bypassing their opponent's press.

Gorriarán got on the end of a lightning-fast move that send Tigres into the break with a slim advantage. From then, despite Pachuca having more of the ball, Tigres continued to look dangerous on the break, especially with Quiñones down the right side, who never stopped playing in dangerous crosses.

It's not over yet, but Pachuca will need to be more penetrative rather than having the ball 30-40 yards from goal.

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45+4

Half-time!

Tigres go into the break ahead.

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45+3

Gorriarán goes down suspiciously easily and Tigres have a chance to watch the clock continue to tick along.

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45+2

Nahuel collects the ball and Tigres survive.

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45+2

Pachuca have a corner after another lightning-fast counter attack send Tigres' players scrambling.

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45

3 added minutes.

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44

Pedraza gets a booking for pulling the shirt of Gignac, who is not a happy homme.

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42

The first card of the game goes to Tigres' Pizarro, who stops a counter attack from Pachuca by throwing the player to the ground.

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41

The game has opened up and Tigres get in another good cross from the right, which is where all the action is happening for Los Felinos.

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Some lovely football yet again from Pachuca, but this time they finished the move with a shot.

Pedraza sends in a lovely low cross from the right, but neither striker manages to get a show away, instead seeing the ball fly past their feet. 

It lands at the incoming run of Di Yorio, whose low effort is well saved by Nahuel.

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40

HUGE SAVE FROM NAHUEL GUZMÁN

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37

Pachuca are still pushing and still look nice in possession, but Tigres have already shown their ability to pounce and bite.

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The ball was lofted in from the right and Gignac went for the spectacular from the edge of the box! He missed the ball, but we can all imagine it going in just for some fun.

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34

GIGNAC GOES FOR THE OVERHEAD KICK!!!

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Well, it's not fair to say that Tigres don't deserve to be ahead, but Pachuca had looked the more likely team with the heavier share of possession. 

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A long ball is wonderfully taken by Gignac, who plays inside from the left towards Gorriarán. The attacker sends the ball out to the right wing, towards Quiñones, who slides in to Vigón.

The ball is cut back to Gorriarán who passes into the goal from just yards out!

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WHAT A MOVE FROM TIGRES.

JUST LIKE THAT!

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GORRIARÁN

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32

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLL

TIGRES GO ONE UP!!

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30

There's a bit of spice to this game, especially after that challenge on Vigón earlier.

We've had a few mini-arguments and Señor Cáceres is using his whistle a lot to remind everyone who's the real boss.

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And we're back. Pachuca with the ball.

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A quick water break.

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26

Oh, that was dangerous. Pizarro gets back to swipe the ball away from the boots of Luna and De la Rosa as Pachuca launch another scary-looking attack aimed at the Tigres goal.

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25

Di Yorio plays a pass forward that is given offside... just. It looked very tight and comes as a huge relief to Tigres who were all out of place thanks to Pachuca's fast-moving passing triangles.

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23

Space opens up for Quiñones on the right who whips in a cross that is cleared away. 

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21

It's Pachuca who look like the team in charge as they attempt to pass through Tigres, who are standing strong in a solid defensive block.

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20

Aquino gets his legs in a tangle in the defensive third and watches on as Hernández steals the ball from his feet, prompting angry screams from some fans in orange.

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18

That was beautiful football from Pachuca and mainly De la Fuente who, on the right, looked like the world's best full-back as he burst down the wing, linking up with different players along the way.

Tigres got back well in numbers to block out any potential danger as the attack reached the box.

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17

We're back underway. Pachuca with the ball.

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17

He looks OK, if a little dazed. 

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15

Vigón is down after taking a huge hit when he jumped for the ball with Pedraza.

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15

Luna finds space on the edge of the box and tries his luck but the ball nearly ends out outside the stadium. Let's not talk about that one again.

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The ball is worked well on the left by Fulgencio who hits a low cross towards the penalty spot that lands with Gignac... but the forward fluffs the chance and sees his weak shot easily saved.

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13

HUGE CHANCE FOR GIGNAC!!!

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13

Gorriarán launches a missile off his right boot that is blocked by Pachuca's defence, with the grateful Ustari watching on.

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And he does... but it's high and wide.

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11

Tigres have a free-kick about 37 yards out... Gignac looks like he's going to shoot.

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10

Hearts are in mouths as the ball is fired into the Pachuca box and lands with Gignac, who watches it bounce in front of him while everyone expects the shot to come...

The bounce never lines up perfectly for the Frenchman and Pachuca manage to outnumber him and his teammates in the box, stopping the danger.

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9

Tigres want to stop Pachuca's bright start and are now trying to build up in the middle third, switching the play with both long and short passes from left to right.

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The ball gets whipped in from the left by Di Yorio and De la Rosa appears the get a flick before seeing the ball whizz just inches wide of the far post, baffling everyone!

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8

BIG CHANCE FOR PACHUCA

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6

Pachuca have had some nice touches in the middle thord to create overloads and open up space, which is where there two shots have come from. They're slowly taking control of the ball as the clock ticks on...

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5

De la Fuente finds an inch of space on the edge of the box after nice work from Castillo on the right. The forward open up his body and sends a whipped shot towards the far post that is saved easily by Guzmán.

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3

Gignac nearly finds space with the take-down from a header, but he fails to control the ball and Pachuca swarm.

The game is yet to settle into a pattern and both teams are running in wild patterns, which is exciting the crowd.

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2

Castillo does excellently well to get back and slide in as the ball was fizzed left towards Quiñones. A frantic start from both sides.

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1

The first effort of the game falls to Di Yorio, whose slot from the edge of the box is blocked.

He did well to drive inside from the left and had the Tigres defenders scrambling.

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1

A long ball from Tigres to start us off, Pachuca are out to press.

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1

And we're off!

Tigres get us underway in LA.

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But first, time for the Mexican national anthem...

A happy tune, one that gets everyone on their feet. 

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Tigres are in all orange; Los Tuzos are in all blue.

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Here come the players!

The two teams come out onto the pitch to a huge applause and roar from both sets of fans!

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Tigres vs Chivas: Horario, canal de TV; cómo y dónde ver la final de Liga MX en USA

Cristian de Marchena / Cristian de Marchena

Here is the trophy...

As we wait for the players to emerge from the tunnel, here's a reminder of just what's at stake in the game!

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Ten minutes to go!

Kick-off is fast-approaching and we're nearly ready to go with the game!

The two teams have finished their warm-up routines and are off to the dressing rooms for the final team talk!

The stadium atmosphere is incredible!

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Pachuca XI:

Ustari

Barreto - Castillo - Cabral - Pedraza

Rodríguez - J. Hernández - Luna - Di Yorio

De La Rosa - De La Fuente

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Here's the Tigres XI!

It's a strong side from Robert Siboldi in the final, as we expected.

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Team news: a reminder

The Apertura 2023 Champions come into today’s game with two huge absences: Sebastián Córdova won’t be available for selection in Robert Dante Siboldi’s side; Diego Lainez is thought to be fit.

As for Pachuca, they have one big name missing: Eduardo ‘Chofis’ López, who is out with an adductorinjury known as Pubalgia. Yes, it’s as strange and painful as it sounds. 

The good news for both sides is that there are no players suspended and given the fact that the football, quite literally, never stops, three players injured between the two sides is something of an achievement.

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The two teams are here, and so are the fans!

The atmosphere outside the stadium is ramping up as the clock ticks on, and we're surely in for a fantastic party feeling inside the ground!

The 27,000-seater stadium is going to be rocking in the LA sunshine!

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Pachuca vs Tigres

Here's how the two teams match up in terms of statistics

The rivalry between these two teams has been incredibly close, with the stats showing just how tight things have been:

Wins: Pachuca 19-20 Tigres

Draws: 23

Goals: Pachuca 86-91 TIgres

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Here come the tigers!

Los Felinos have arrived at the stadium in downtown LA, which means that the clock is ticking down for kick-off!

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Here's Pachuca's special edition shirt for the fixture

The classic Pachuca colours will have the extra detail of the information regarding the game, including the KO date, stadium name and badges of both teams.

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Tigres are the Clausura 2023 Champions

Los Felinos may have won the Campeón de Campeones three times, but that's not the record. 

The team with the most trophies is actually Chivas de Guadalajara, who have taken home the prize a staggering seven times!

The last time Chivas got to the final was in 2017, where they lost to Tigres.

Their last win, however, came way back in 1970, when they were granted the trophy as Campeonísimo winners, having picked up both the Apertura and Clausura of that year.

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Pachuca have arrived at the stadium!

Los Tuzos are ready - and so are we! 

We should have the team news shortly...

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AME6726. PACHUCA (MÉXICO), 20/10/2022.- Oscar Ustari de Pachuca festeja el primer gol de su equipo, durante el partido de ida de la semifinal del torneo Apertura 2022 de la Liga MX entre Tuzos Pachuca y Rayados Monterrey hoy, en el estadio Hidalgo de la ciudad de Pachuca (México). EFE/David Martinez Pelcastre

David Martinez Pelcastre / EFE

Pachuca's patchy goals record vs Tigres

Ustari has had a tough time in recent seasons against Tigres, who have scored past him on the last 3 occasions. 

The last time Los Tuzos kept a clean sheet vs their opponents tonight was in August 2022, when Pachuca came away with a 2-0 win, thanks to a goal in either half from Nicolás Ibáñez. 

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  Juan Pablo Vigon of Tigres during the game Guadalajara vs Tigres UANL, corresponding to second leg match of great final of the Torneo Clausura 2023 of the Liga BBVA MX, at Akron Stadium, on May 28, 2023.

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Juan Pablo Vigon de Tigres  durante el partido Guadalajara vs Tigres UANL, Correspondiente al partido de Vuelta de la Gran final del Torneo Clausura 2023 de la Liga BBVA MX, en el Estadio Akron, el 28 de Mayo de 2023.

Jorge Martinez / Jorge Martinez

Tigres come into the game on an unbeaten run vs Pachuca

The side are unbeaten against Los Tuzos in three games, emerging victorious against them in January, which was the last time the two sides met.

On that occasion, Tigres put 4 goals past Óscar Ustari in the Pachuca goal, with both Gorriarán and Gignac getting on the scoresheet, as well as a Quiñones double.

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¿Cuánto dinero se lleva LAFC por ser campeón de la MLS 2022?

KEVORK DJANSEZIAN / AFP

The winners will play LAFC

The Campeón de Campeones winning team will play against the reigning MLS Cup holders, in this case LAFC, in the Campeones Cup.

We don't know where or when it will be held, but the fixture usually takes place in September somewhere on US soil, so expect an announcement fairly soon with all the details. We'll have you covered on AS, that's for sure. 

Will it be Pachuca or Tigres who take on Carlos Vela and co. to be crowned the best team in the Concacaf region?

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The Dignity Health Sports Park looks fresh today!

With the team news coming up soon, I think it's time for a weather check: and look at that! 

The temperature is 23ºC (74ºF) and it is very sunny with just a slight breeze - perfect playing conditions for the stars on the pitch!

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 Official Ball Voit Tracer during the game Guadalajara vs Cruz Azul, corresponding to Round 16 of the Torneo Clausura 2023 of the Liga BBVA MX, at Akron Stadium, on April 22, 2023.

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Balon Oficial Voit Tracer durante el partido Guadalajara vs Cruz Azul, Correspondiente a la Jornada 16 del Torneo Clausura 2023 de la Liga BBVA MX, en el Estadio Akron, el 22 de Abril de 2023.

Juan Carlos Ocampo / Juan Carlos Ocampo

Are there extra time and penalties?

If the game gets to 90 minutes and the two teams can't be separated, what happens?

There are various options than tend to happen in football across the world: extra-time then penalties, a replay... but not here!

If the game ends after 90 minutes and no side is ahead, then we will skip the extra-time and go directly to a penalty shootout to decide the winner!

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Tigres manager, Siboldi, pre-game:

Last season we went through a lot of situations that we weren't used to. We had to reinvent ourselves, but the group always had in mind the idea of becoming champions and tomorrow [today] we are going for another trophy.

Robert Dante Siboldi, Tigres manager

Who's the referee for the game?

Víctor Cáceres is the man with the whistle. 

Cáceres was born in 1986 and studied architecture before becoming a professional referee, but he had overseen amateur football since the age of 14-years-old.

He comes from the southern city of Chiapas, near the Guatemalan border. He has taken charge of games in the Liga Premier, Liga de Expansión, Liga Femenil MX and Liga MX.

***

Assistant referee: José Martínez

Second assistant referee: Michel Espinoza

Fourth Official: Daniel Quintero

VAR: Ismael López

VAR assistant: Óscar Mejía

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Gignac player stats

Who is the player to watch for UANL Tigres?

Well, it is, of course, the club’s all-time top scorer in all competitions: André-Pierre Christian Gignac

The Frenchman moved to UANL in 2015 and has played almost 300 games for the side, scoring well over 150 goals in that time.

He has won pretty much everything with the side, including 3 Apertura titles, 2 Clausura titles, 3 Campeón de campeones, a Concacaf Champions League, a Concacaf Cup and was runner-up in the FIFA Club World Cup.

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What happens if a team wins the Apertura and Clausura? Do they play against themselves?

Yes! 

Unbelievably, the same team has to field two separate starting XIs and they… of course not. 

The way things work, like what happened last year with Atlas, is that the team is directly awarded the Campeón de Campeones trophy without a game being held. 

Known as the Campeonísimo, it has only happened on 5 separate occasions since 1942.

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Player to watch: Pachuca

Luis Chávez is always my pick for this one, mainly because of his lovely free-kicks. The midfielder scored a fantastic effort for Mexico against Saudi Arabia at the 2022 World Cup, and the player has since been linked with various clubs on the continent.

He has, however, told those around him that he is staying put and holding out for a move to Europe, which will no doubt be on the horizon if he continues to perform at the level we are seeing from Chávez.

Pachuca’s president said: “We all know what rumours are like, but as things stand, I don’t have any offers on the table for Luis Chávez."

"We’d be delighted for him to get the chance to play in a European league, be it the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium… It would be great for him. It’s a dream that he has.”

Unfortunately, Chávez won't be here today as he's on international duty, so I'll go with Lucas Di Yorio, who was on loan at Club León last season.

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CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 08: A large American flag cover the field during pre-game festivities before the start of the Los Angeles Chargers season opens against Indianapolis Colts at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 8, 2019 in Carson, California.   Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/AFP
== FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY ==

Kevork Djansezian / AFP

Where is the game being held?

The venue for today's game is the very catchy Dignity Health Sports Park, which happens to be the home of the LA Galaxy

It's a 27,000-seater stadium that was opened in 2003 and has had the same name since 2019: after being known as the Home Depot Center from 2003 to 2019, it was renamed as the StubHub Center.

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All you need to know about the Campeón de Campeones: teams, date, venue, format, prize money…

How much prize money will the winning team receive?

A great question, thanks for asking.

The winners of today’s game will earn 1.7 million pesos, which is around $95,650. It’s less than the top Liga MX prize, however, which stands at 4.1 million pesos, around $230,700. As for the Copa MX winners, they receive 2 million pesos, which is about $124,400.

Lots of money all round. As is usually the case in fútbol.

Why did the Campeón de Campeones tournament begin?

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TIgres UANL

Isabel / Isabel

How many times have Tigres won the Campeón de Campeones?

Pachuca have never managed to win the trophy, but Tigres have roared their way to plenty of finals over their history and claimed three Campeón de Campeones titles, in 2016, 2017 and 2018. 

Their most recent appearance was in 2019 where, after a 0-0 draw, they lost on penalties to Club América

Their only final before that was way back in 1976, where, against América again, they lost, with future Tigres manager, Carlos Reinoso, scoring one of the goals.

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Pachuca's manager ahead of the game:

My objective is to win tomorrow [today].

Guillermo Almada, Pachuca manager

I can't talk about [the Mexico] job, I have to focus on my reality, which is Pachuca, over the excitement one always has to manage a national team and one as prestigious as Mexico.

Guillermo Almada, Pachuca manager

But one has to respect the process of Jimmy Lozano, we're all in the same boat. 

Guillermo Almada, Pachuca manager

How many times have Pachuca won the Campeón de Campeones?

This is not the first time ever that Los Tuzos can get their paws on the Camepón de Campeones trophy, as they have made the final on three separate occasions before tonight.

However, if you’re a Pachuca fan, look away now: they have never won the trophy before

Yes, you read that correctly: three final appearances and three losses

The first one came in 2004 when they lost 8-2 over two legs to Pumas

They only had to wait two years to get to their next final, but they lost 1-0 twice in a row to Toluca

Then came a ten-year-long wait for Los Tuzos who finally made it to the final game in 2016only to lose again to Pumas

Can it be fourth time lucky tonight?

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Pachuca's players celebrate after winning the Mexican Apertura 2022 tournament final football match against Toluca at Hidalgo stadium in Pachuca, Hidalgo State, Mexico, on October 30, 2022. (Photo by CLAUDIO CRUZ / AFP)

Claudio Cruz / AFP

How they got here:

How they got here, simply enough, is by winning the league

The old format (we’ll get to that later) would have had a different outcome of teams but this way of working puts, quite nicely indeed, the winner of the Clausura vs the winner of the Apertura against each other.

Pachuca, if you remember, won the Apertura 2022 (beating Toluca 8-2) and that booked them a ticket to get to this game; Tigres overcame Chivas 3-2in the final of the Clausura 2023 which was how they earned the right to be here today. Simples!

An interesting point of note is that today’s game is the last official match before the start of the Apertura 2023 next weekend: I told you that the football, quite literally, never stops.

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Team news:

The Apertura 2023 Champions come into today’s game with two huge absences: Sebastián Córdova won’t be available for selection in Robert Dante Siboldi’s side; Diego Lainez is thought to be fit.

As for Pachuca, they have one big name missing: Eduardo ‘Chofis’ López, who is out with an adductor injury known as Pubalgia. Yes, it’s as strange and painful as it sounds. 

The good news for both sides is that there are no players suspended and given the fact that the football, quite literally, never stops, three players injured between the two sides is something of an achievement.

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Welcome!

And we’re up and running! Welcome along to the AS USA live coverage of the Campeón de Campeones

It’s time to decide who the real king of Mexican football is and there is no better place to be than right in front of your screens. That sounds very Black Mirror. 

It’s Joe here anyway and I’ll be guiding you through all the ups and downs, the laughter and the tears of tonight’s mega-match.

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