Before a buoyant sellout crowd at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles, Club Tigres became the first team to win Campeones Cup for a second time. Winners of the initial edition, in 2018, over Toronto FC, the reigning Liga MX BBVA champions battled hard against hosts Los Angeles Football Club, but neither were able to break the other’s resistance, and the match was settled on penalties.
Robert Siboldi lined his team up in the same 3-4-3 he had played in Saturday’s Clásico Regio victory over CF Monterrey, and it worked a charm, as the MLS side struggled to get into the game in the early going. Steve Cherundolo had made several changes to his side, brining back Carlos Vela, Dénis Bouanga and Ilie Sánchez after the trio were rested against Philadelphia at the weekend.
With just a dozen minutes on the clock, the game’s first chance came for the visitors, but Maxime Crépeau made a flying save to keep out Julian Quiñonés’ curling effort. From there, the match settled into being a chippy but lively affair, with the veteran nous of Giorgio Chiellini and Aaron Long keeping the Liga MX side’s star-studded attack largely quiet. The same was true for the Tigres defence as well, though, and halftime game with neither side having found the net.
In the second half, Diego Palacios, who had been excellent to that point, was sent off for a bad challenge. With nearly half an hour to play, the impetus looked to be with Tigres as they sought their third title of the calendar year, but it was LAFC who put the ball in the net thanks to a darting run and finish by Bouanga. The goal was waved off for an illegal pass, though, and LAFC’s joy was short-lived.
As time ticked down, Tigres also had a player sent off, in Rafael Carioca – the match would finish with each side having ten men on the pitch. The match would go to penalties, and as he had in Leagues Cup, Nahuel Guzmán was up to the task in goal for the Liga MX side, making two saves as Tigres won the shootout, 4-2, to win Campeones Cup 2023!
Los Angeles Football Club (4-3-3): Crépeau (McCarthy 90 + 6’); Hollingshead, Long, Chiellini, Palacios; Acosta, Sánchez, Bogusz (Palencia 64’); Olivera (Biuk 77’), Vela (Tillman 77’), Bouanga
Club Tigres (3-4-3): Guzmán; Pizarro, Reyes, Angulo; Aquino, Gorriarán (Vigón 75’), Carioca, Lainez (Flores 75’); Quiñonés (Samir 89’), Gignac, Córdova (Ibañez 83’)