Club Tigres are historically one of Mexico’s most successful teams – the club has won eight Liga MX titles, the 2020 Concacaf Champions League and the 2018 Campeones Cup. But that excellence is even more pronounced when it comes to how ‘La U’ have fared against opponents from Major League Soccer. Across twenty-four matches, Tigres have lost just three times, with three draws, winning eighteen times. While the stakes have varied in these matches, there’s no question their dominance should be celebrated as they look for win number nineteen in Wednesday’s Campeones Cup. Here’s a look back at three of the club’s most important wins:
2020 Concacaf Champions League Final: Club Tigres 2-1 Los Angeles Football Club
Two years on from having won the first-ever Campeones Cup, Tigres had the chance to win a second international title against Los Angeles Football Club. Their task in facing the MLS side in Orlando would hardly be a simple one, just as reaching the final had been difficult in a tournament interrupted by COVID-19. Tigres had cruised past both New York City FC and Honduran side Olimpia to reach the final, scoring eight goals over the three matches without conceding.
LAFC was in similarly strong form, though – they had knocked out Liga MX heavyweights Club América and Cruz Azul on their way to the final and in attackers like Diego Rossi and Carlos Vela, they were a dangerous opponent. Indeed, it was Rossi who struck first in the final, but goals from defender Hugo Ayala and the ever-dangerous André-Pierre Gignac saw Tigres make good on what had been a dominant display. The Nuevo León side would follow this performance by reaching the final of the Club World Cup the following year, becoming the first Mexican side to do so.
2018 Campeones Cup: Toronto FC 1-3 Club Tigres
Tigres were still two years away from that title, however, in 2018, and despite impressing a few years earlier in an historic run to the final of the Copa Libertadores, they were yet to secure an international title. That would change, however, with the first edition of Campeones Cup, in 2018. After thrashing Club Santos Laguna in the Campeón de Campeones, 4-0, Tigres were ready to take on Toronto FC.
It wouldn’t be easy, though, as the Canadian side were set to host the match on a breezy September night. Boasting stars like American internationals Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley, Toronto had won both the Supporters’ Shield and the MLS Cup the previous season. Tigres showed their class, though, as Mexican international wingback Jesús Dueñas netted a brace before an Eriq Zavaleta own goal sealed the result to give the team their first-ever international trophy.
2017 Concacaf Champions League Semifinal Second Leg: Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-2 Club Tigres
While Tigres would lose in the final to an impressive Club Pachuca side, they were impressive in this tournament. Entering the knockout stages as the fifth seed, they handily eliminated fellow Liga MX side Pumas before drawing top seed Vancouver in the semifinals. Tigres had won the first leg 2-0 at home, but the scoreline flattered the hosts, as the match was even until an own goal by Kendall Watson gave Tuca Ferretti’s side the lead, with Eduardo Vargas adding a second just before full time.
In Vancouver, US international Break Shea scored just three minutes into the match, and the tie was within one goal as the hosts battled hard for another. André-Pierre Gignac, who had already helped the club to a pair of league titles, was hungry for a place in the final, though, and rifled the ball into the top corner on the hour mark, scoring with a fine strike from the edge of the area. Damián Álvarez added a second just before full time, and the Mexican side were headed to the final, 4-1 on aggregate!