For the first time in Liga MX history, Tigres and León will clash in a Liga MX Final as the two best teams through the regular season meet at the Estadio Universitario.
Tigres arrive to this Final after finishing second in the league table and eliminating both Pachuca and rivals Monterrey in the Liguilla. Tigres have already lost one Final this semester, in the form of the CONCACAF Champions League Final, and anything other than the league title would be a failure for the cash-heavy Regiomontanos.
Meanwhile, León finished the regular season at the top of the league table and followed up a record-breaking season by eliminating Xolos de Tijuana and defending champions Club América. La Fiera was without question the best team in Mexico through the course of the first 19 weeks of the competition, even setting the record for most consecutive wins in a single Liga MX season. But León players and coaches know the pressure is on and are quite aware that all this could turn into nothing more than an anecdote if they don’t go on to lift the trophy at the end of the season.
Speaking of trophies, for Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti this is yet another final for him and a testament of how good he has been since arriving to Mexico. This will be Ferretti’s 23rd final in Mexico, having already won 12, ten of which were with Tigres.
On the other hand, for Ignacio Ambriz this will be his third title-decider and his very first Liga MX Final. Ambriz previously won the Copa MX with Necaxa and the CONCACAF Champions League title with Club América, which coincidentally he won over Tigres and Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti.
León will be without two key players for this First Leg. Ambriz won’t be able to count on young Mexican striker Jose Juan Macias, who is on national team duty with the U-20s, while Rubens Sambueza was suspended for this game with a red card.
It is worth mentioning that the away goal rule is not in effect for this Final, and if the match finishes leveled through the course of both legs and extra time, penalties will determine the winner. Both sides are set to meet again on Sunday in the return leg at the Nou Camp.
Date: Thursday, May 23
Time: 6:45pm Pacific, 8:45pm Central, 9:45pm Eastern
Venue: Estadio Universitario, San Nicola de los Garza, México
TV: Univision Deportes (US-Español), Univision (US-Español), TDN(Mexico), Azteca 7 (Mexico), Canal 5 Televisa (Mexico)
Listings via LiveSoccerTV.com