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Club América crowned champion of the Apertura 2023

The game was pretty tight until a red card in the 80th minute changed everything. The Águilas would not hold back as they scored three goals in extra time to secure their 14th title.

FBL-MEX-AMERICA-TIGRES Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP via Getty Images

Club América can now proclaim themselves the best in Mexico after defeating Tigres to win their 14th title. The game was evenly matched until everything changed with a controversial red card in the 80th minute for Tigres and things only got worse for them in extra time, where América scored three goals in 30 minutes to take the title.

Tigres had their first chance of the game as André-Pierre Gignac was in the penalty area, but unfortunately he was not able to get his foot on the ball. América had their first chance of the night in the third minute as Alvaro Fidalgo attempted a shot, but Nahuel Guzman was there to block it. A few minutes later, in the ninth minute, Gignac had an incredible shot from outside the box that went just wide that would have been a golazo had it gone in.

The Águilas had their next dangerous moment after a handball outside the box that went nowhere after Miguel Layun’s shot hit the wall and was eventually cleared out of danger. In the 27th minute, Guzman had an incredible save when he stopped Diego Valdés’s shot and a few minutes later, Angel Malagon had his own incredible save when when Gignac headed a ball towards goal that the keeper sent out for a corner. Usually those kinds of attempts by the French international go in, but last night they didn’t. The rest of the first half went back and forth with no goals from either team.

The action kicked off in the second half when Henry Martin had a chance to score, but the Tigres defense was there to shut him down. Martin then had another chance less than 10 minutes later, but his shot on goal was deflected. América had their best chance of the second half when Alejandro Zendejas attempted his own shot, but it was deflected and Valdés took his shot and Guzman was there to make another great save.

It was about 15 minutes later when things went downhill for Tigres. It all started when Raymundo Fulgencio was subbed into the game during the 75th minute and five minutes later he was sent off. Fulgencio was frustrated as Quiñones was attempting to steal the ball from him and he elbowed him in the face. The referee awarded the Tigres player a red card and after a VAR review, he confirmed the decision, leaving Tigres with 10 men. While it was a card-worthy defense, the debate will always remain if it was indeed a red card. For the remaining 10 minutes, Tigres did well to hold on and take the game to extra time despite being down a man. Extra time was where things got even worse for them.

Not even a minute into extra time and América finally got going after struggling to score for 90 minutes.

Fidalgo had sent in a ball into the box that fell to Quiñones who took a shot, but it was blocked by Guzman. The rebound then went back to Quiñones who took another shot and did not miss the second time. A few minutes later, things got worse for Tigres when Quiñones made a run and Guzman came way out of his area and knocked Quiñones down.

Guzman has taken many bad decisions, but this one was very bad. He had made incredible saves throughout the game and honestly, it was a bonehead decision. He was already on a yellow and his team was down a man. Tigres then went down to 9 players and it was going to be hard for them to come back from this. About 10 minutes later, América put the nail in the coffin with another goal. Richard Sanchez made his way into the box and took a shot that made its way past backup keeper Carlos Felipe Rodriguez. Not even Guzman could’ve stopped that goal.

Even after scoring two goals, América still kept their foot on the pedal. Jonathan ‘Cabecita’ Rodriguez had attempted a few times to score in the second half of the extra time, but none of them went in, until the last minute of the game.

Everything went downhill for Tigres once they went down to 10 men in the 80th minute. While it was a controversial decision, Tigres lost their heads during extra time and did not know how to come back from that. Gignac was on the verge of scoring his 200th goal, but maybe the pressure got to him and he wasn’t able to. Guzman made a horrible decision knowing his team was already down and sadly, that was it for Tigres. On the other hand, América finally got to lift the trophy after years without one and can now say they are the biggest team in Mexico with 14 titles.

Oh, and if you want some laughs, here’s Nahuel Guzman hiding behind goal after he was sent off. Oh Nahuel, please don’t ever change!

See you all next year when the Clausura 2024 starts!