LAFC 1, Tigres UANL 2 | Concacaf Champions League Recap
LAFC's bid for history came up just short, as they fell 2-1 to Tigres UANL in the Concacaf Champions League Final at Exploria Stadium in Orlando on Tuesday.
Diego Rossi put LAFC in striking distance of becoming the first MLS team to win the modern incarnation of the continental tournament after putting them up 1-0 with the opening goal just past the hour mark. But Tigres would strike twice before the final whistle, with the match-winner coming from standout striker Andre-Pierre Gignac in the 84th minute.
Neither side managed to strike in the first half, with LAFC managing to withstand some early pressure and get to the break in a scoreless deadlock after a physical and chippy opening 45 minutes.
LAFC thought they should have had a penalty kick in the 17th minute, but referee Mario Escobar wouldn't oblige their shouts after Latif Blessing went down in his own penalty box after what appeared to be contact with Tigres defender Luis Rodriguez while chasing down a through ball from Rossi.
LAFC would find the opener, though, courtesy of a tally from Rossi in the 61st minute. The 2020 MLS Golden Boot winner got his team on the board with a cheeky lofted finish back across the goal after running down a cross from Mark-Anthony Kaye.
The Liga MX giants would draw level just 11 minutes later, however, as center back Hugo Ayala flicked a corner kick from Nicolas Lopez on goal that squeaked past LAFC goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer.
That set the stage for the winner from Gignac, which the Frenchman found just six minutes from the end of regulation time after running onto a feed from Rodriguez and nestling the finish from outside the box into the net for the decisive goal, sending Tigres to the 2020 CCL title, and bringing LAFC's run to a heartbreaking end.
- 61' - LAFC - Diego Rossi | WATCH
- 72' - TIG - Hugo Ayala | WATCH
- 84' - TIG - Andre-Pierre Gignac | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: It's a gut-wrenching way for LAFC to see their CCL title dreams slip away after Rossi's goal had them right on the doorstep of what would have been a milestone moment for the club and the league as a whole. This one will certainly sting, but Bob Bradley's men can hold their heads high, having gone on an extremely impressive run to the final that saw them knock off three Liga MX foes to get there in a bizarre year that saw the tournament resume nine months after it started due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You have to give Tigres credit, as they demonstrated their quality throughout the tournament and are worthy champions.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Even after conceding the equalizer, the match was still there for the taking for LAFC until Gignac's finish put the game to bed.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Gignac hadn't really done much all game until that winner. But that's what makes him so lethal. He only needs one chance to rip your heart out, which he showed in this contest. The dominant forward gets the honors for the tournament-clinching goal.
- LAFC: End of season