Bruno Valdez’s 68th minute equalizer earned Club America a 1-1 draw with Tigres in the first leg of their 2016 Apertura Liga MX Final.
From the start, the occasion was a tense one, but despite a break of almost more than two weeks due to the Club World Cup, Tigres responded well initially.
The real drama, though, began in the 26th minute when a penalty was called after Oribe Peralta drew a tackle inside the box. The same Peralta stepped up, but the crossbar proved Tigres’ savior.
The visitors then upped the tempo in the latter stages of the first half, and in the 45th minute, Andre-Pierre Gignac broke free down the left before nutmegging America goalkeeper Moises Munoz to score the opener.
Midway through the second half, Bruno Valdez, who was partly to blame for Tigres’ breakthrough, came to America’s rescue. The Paraguayan appeared unmarked from a Michael Arroyo corner to tap home the leveler.
Tigres suffered a blow in the 76th minute as Andre-Pierre Gignac was forced off with a suspected neck injury.
Without Gignac, Tigres were limited in attack, and Las Aguilas looked more solid to close the game.
At the final whistle, both teams settled for the draw, as it is everything to play for in the second leg on Sunday.