Club América, Liga MX
Henry Martin and Miguel Layún lift the Liga MX trophy after Club América defeated Tigres UANL 3-0 in the Apertura 2023 final Via Club América clubamerica on X/Twitter

ALABAMA - After a match full of drama, Club América defeated Tigres UANL 3-0 at Estadio Azteca to win their 14th Liga MX title, increasing the gap with archrivals Chivas de Guadalajara, who hold 2nd place among the winningest clubs in Mexican soccer with 12.

It wasn't a brilliant match. With clear goal scoring opportunities scarce, both teams often relied on long range shots or set pieces to create some sort of danger. A red card in the 87th minute changed the whole dynamic of the game and left Tigres down to 10 men, as Raymundo Fulgencio exited the field just 5 minutes after being subbed on.

After a long VAR check and with both sides pleading for their causes, América resumed play with renewed energy as the roar of the Estadio Azteca crowd pushed its team forward.

Just a few minutes into extra time, the 'Águilas' found Julián Quiñones with a cross from the left-hand side, who somehow put the ball in the back of the net after a lucky rebound.

A red card and the Quiñones goal were too much for Tigres to handle, who lost their cool and -surprisingly- looked like a team overtaken by the scenario and the chain of unfortunate events, ultimately finishing the game with 9 men thanks to a Nahuel Guzmán red card.

In his first tournament at the held of Club América, André Jardine delivered a Liga MX title that had been eluding América for years. The 3-0 win on Sunday crowned a historic tournament for Jardine's side, who finished the regular season with just one loss. A record 19-game unbeaten streak followed that defeat to Juárez on opening day, and the 'Águilas' did not tasted defeat again up until their second-leg clash against Atlético San Luis in early December.

Even after going trophyless for 5 years, Club América is still living in one of their most successful periods in club history. In the last decade, only Tigres (8, winning 5) have played and won more finals than América (7, winning 4). Across América's long and storied existence, only between 1984 and 1989 did they win more Liga MX titles than during this modern era of success.

Back then, the team known as the 'Millonetas' were the dominant force of Mexican soccer. In seven seasons, the team led by players such as Carlos Reinoso and Alfredo Tena, won a total of five titles including a threepeat between 1984-85.

It was a weird night for Tigres, as the entire team looked uncomfortable and under pressure for most of the 120 minutes. Pandora's box was finally opened after that first red card, and it all went downhill for the visitors after that. A team that is used to playing on big games, Tigres' couldn't react to the big momentum swing and served América the title on a silver platter.

Nahuel Guzmán and Guido Pizarro were nowhere to be seen when Tigres was looking for a leader. André-Pierre Gignac's solitude in the last 30 minutes of the game encapsulated in a nutshell Tigres' fatidic night at Estadio Azteca.

Yesterday's match could've well been the last "big day" for some of the pillars that have helped the 'Universitarios' win five Liga MX titles in the last eight years. Guzmán, Gignac, Pizarro and Rafael Carioca are all well over 30 years old and not getting any younger, which could hint at the end of the Tigres dynasty, one of the most successful ones in Liga MX history.

If we use a 10-year timeframe, only three teams in Mexican soccer history have won more league titles than Tigres' golden era since 2015. Such has been their dominance that comparisons to great teams of old don't seem incredulous at this point.

Perhaps the most successful team in Liga MX history, Guadalajara's team between 157 and 1965 won a total of seven league titles in nine seasons, earning the nickname of "Campeonísimo."

Toluca's golden era with José Saturnino Cardozo saw the 'Diablos' win a total of 6 league crowns in 10 years, between 1998-2008. Cruz Azul's golden generation in the 70's is another dynasty comparable to Tigres, winning a total of six Liga MX titles between 1969 and 1979.

As one legendary team regroups to give it another go next tournament, América seems back to its old winning ways and will try to build on a historic Apertura 2023 campaign to build a dynasty of their own. A 'bicampeonato' during the Clausura 2023 could be a great start for Jardine and company.

Teams with the most Liga MX finals played - Last 10 years (since 2013)

Tigres: 8 (won 5)
Club América: 7 (won 4)
Club León: 5 (won 3)
Pachuca: 4 (won 2)
Santos Laguna: 3 (won 2)
Cruz Azul: 3 (won 1)
Monterrey: 3 (won 1)

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