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Liga MX

Tigres shows capability, thrashing America to move into final

2:51 pm AEDT 3/12/17
Enner Valencia Tigres
Enner Valencia scored twice as Tuca Ferretti's side showed its potential by thrashing a nine-man America to move into the Liga MX final

America held off the inevitable for nearly an hour. 

After Enner Valencia's opening goal, the series felt over. Four minutes later, Guido Rodriguez was shown his second yellow card and confirmed it. If Tigres wasn't confident enough that the club was headed to the Liga MX final, another sending off and two goals meant the club ended the second leg with a 3-0 victory and a two-man advantage.

Tigres had been the better team in both legs, and the elimination ends a season that wasn't good enough for America. Miguel Herrera needs time to get the club back to the glory he took it to during his first stint as manager, but Herrera himself is fond of saying a championship is required at the club that has won more titles than any other team in history.

The modern reality shows that Tigres is better. After an uninspiring quarterfinal against Leon that required the team to rely on its better regular-season finish to move on, the Tigres on display Saturday lived up to the quality the side has. Keep in mind this is a team that signed Enner Valencia from the Premier League this summer (and then didn't start him during the quarterfinals) and already had brought in talents like Andre-Pierre Gignac and Javier Aquino from Europe.

Valencia scored twice today, linking up with Gignac before the Frenchman scored from the spot to complete the 4-0 aggregate win. The Ecuadoran had a terrific series, creating chances for Giganc and Eduardo Vargas, who left injured at the halftime break, and making a strong case to be a key player during the final. Gignac, who was subject to criticism in the local media after a season only slightly below his lofty standards, added to his scoring total and stretched America's back line. It was a dominant night for a Tigres team that had gone too long without this type of big win - a 'goleada' as it's called in Mexico.

Plenty of the domination also comes down to America not only going down to nine men with nearly 30 minutes left to play. Tigres set up the match, though, with its first-leg win in the Estadio Azteca. The typically stingy team could've been vulnerable with center back Juninho missing with an adductor injury but Francisco Meza slid in for him without difficulty.


Now it's up to Monterrey to finish off Morelia and confirm the first-ever Liga MX final between the two Monterrey rivals in what would be a thrilling matchup for fans of both the city's teams and neutrals alike.