The inaugural Leagues Cup Final ended with Robert Siboldi’s Cruz Azul as winners as Tigres’s lack of pedigree in international finals continued. Here are three quick reactions from La Máquina’s 2-1 win over Los Felinos.
Siboldi wins title in only his second game
It’s worth mentioning that this was only Robert Siboldi’s second game in charge of La Máquina. Cruz Azul were in all kinds of turmoil ahead of last weekend’s match versus Veracruz, but Siboldi has handled himself quite well in his first two matches since being named new manager of the team.
At least tactically and technically, Cruz Azul were the superior side on the night, and while it is arguable how much Siboldi has had a hand on this team, he does seem like a no nonesense guy when it comes to choosing his team. In particular, Siboldi doesn’t seem to be as willing as Pedro Caixinha in playing his players out of position, something which is sure to win over a lot of Cruz Azul fans who were critical of Caixinha’s tactical rigidity.
Beyond the win, the hope here for Siboldi is that this serves as something of a catalyst for what remains of the semester. Cruz Azul are currently just three points off Liguilla positions, and with Pumas UNAM coming up next, La Máquina need to start winning points fast if they want to have a chance at fighting for the elusive league title.
Tigres flounder in another international final
After previously losing the Campeon de Campeones title to Club América in July, that’s 0/2 now for Tigres. At the moment, the defending Liga MX champs are in something of a slump and are winless in each of their last seven matches across all competitions. On this occasion, Los Felinos were clearly outmatched, and some may be asking, where was Andre-Pierre Gignac? The Frenchman, like much of the rest of his team, posted a uniquely tame performance, especially considering the fact that there was a trophy at stake. As good as Tigres have been in Liga MX play during the last decade, for whatever reasons they haven’t been able to replicate that on the international stage. To put things into perspective, the last time Tigres won anything “international” was the 2009 SuperLiga.
The good news for Los Felinos is they have bye week coming up. The bad news is something tells me they won’t be using any of that free time in Vegas. Not with Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti at the helm.
The Leagues Cup is here to stay
Say what you want. Molero tournament or not, the Leagues Cup is here to stay. Organizers expected around 15,000 fans for this final, and at the end, attendance figures well surpassed that.
Earlier in the day, our bud Tom Marshall from ESPN wrote a brilliant piece in which he interviewed Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla. In it he hinted at the possibility of both leagues merging a-la-MLB. While that may be something that happens well down the line, the reality is that these ideas are inevitably only going to gain more steam, especially as Major League Soccer teams keep getting better.
When asked after the game about the future of the tournament, Tigres coach Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti seemed to agree, but brought up the issue of scheduling. At its current form, the tournament isn’t perfect and it’s definitely something that will need addressing, but Liga MX fans better get used to it because the Leagues Cup isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.