Cruz Azul became champions of the first ever Leagues Cup as La Máquina defeated Tigres 2-1, courtesy of second-half goals from Yoshimar Yotun and Jonathan Rodriguez, at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Cruz Azul started on the front foot, with Milton Caraglio striking the woodwork from an early chance, but it would Tigres who would be the more aggressive side thereafter.
Los Felinos were then almost rewarded when Andre-Pierre Gignac came just narrowly wide of opening the scoreline, though he was later deemed offside in what was otherwise a quiet night for the Frenchman.
After the interval, Tigres manager Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti introduced Eduardo Vargas as the defending Liga MX champs looked for a spark off the bench. But it was Cruz Azul who would take the lead when a penalty was called in the 71st minute. Yoshimar Yotun would step up and slot home Cruz Azul’s first of the night.
Moments later, La Máquina were two goals up after Jonathan Rodriguez took advantage of an unorganized Tigres defense to finish past Nahuel Guzman for the 2-0.
Tigres weren’t going to give up that easily, and in the 90th minute, Guido Pizarro rose above his defender to head in a Rafael Carioca cross.
As we were set for an exciting finish, Nahuel Guzman would essentially give La Máquina the title when he was sent off for an elbow on Edgar Mendez.
At the end, drama or not, Cruz Azul were worthy winners of the inaugural Leagues Cup, lifting their second title this season after previously wining the Supercopa MX.