Tigres Wins Apertura 2015
Andre Pierre Gignac of Tigres celebrates after scoring the first goal of his team during the final second leg match between Pumas UNAM and Tigres UANL as part of the Apertura 2015 Liga MX at Olimpico Universitario Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/LatinContent/Getty Images) Hector Vivas/LatinContent/Getty Images

MEXICO CITY – For fans of Mexican soccer, Sunday night was a very special night.

Tigres U.A.N.L. defeated Pumas U.N.A.M. 4-3 on PKs after Los Felinos scored three goals in regulation to tie the aggregate score at 3-3, only to fall down 4-3 in XT, but found the equalizer in the final moments to tie the game 4-4 and send it to penality kicks.

The magic was in the air from the opening whistle as Pumas U.N.A.M the team that finished at the top of the table after a grueling six-month campaign had been left for dead by all experts in the soccer industry including the Latin Times.

Los Felinos needed a miracle to overcome the monumental three-goal deficit that was needed to catch Tigres U.A.N.L on aggregate, but with Christmas approaching, and

The miraculous comeback started in the 45th minute when Eduardo Herrera scored right before the half to reignite life back into the hearts of Pumas and their fans.

With a goal on the board, Pumas began to believe in themselves, and came out with anger, energy and aggression on the offensive attack in the second half, while Tigres lost on defensive, giving multiple opportunities to the Pumas front four.

Pumas opened the second half with their second goal of the title game in the 55th minute when Fidel Martinez, who had just entered into the game less than a minute earlier, sent a cross into the box that Matias Britos was able to send to the bottom left corner of the net.

For the next 20 minutes, it seemed that Pumas had exasperated all their energy getting back into the game, and despite the faith of their fans, their comeback was going to fall short. With less than a few minutes left to play in regulation, Pumas was awarded a corner kick and fate would smile on the fortunes of Los Felinos one last time.

Javier Cortes' corner found the head of forward Silvio Torales, who had come in for extra offense just a few minutes earlier, and Pumas got the equalizer, giving them a 3-0 lead in the second leg, but a 3-3 tie on aggregate with just three minutes left in the match.

As Pumas continued to push for the game-winning goal over the final minutes of the game, disaster struck as Herrera, the man who got everything started for Pumas in the first half, was shown his second yellow card of the game as he slid into Antonio Briseño in front of the net.

Pumas made the comeback to send the match into extra time, but would play the remaining 30 minutes with 10-men as Tigres head coach, Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti, changed the strategy, telling his forwards and midfielders to go for the jugular and win the game.

His team listened as Andre-Pierre Gignac, the hero of the first leg for Tigres, connected on the go-ahead goal in the 103rd minute thanks to a beautiful through ball by Israel Jimenez.

For the second time, it appeared that Pumas had run out of gas, that their historic comeback would once again fall short as they were outnumbered, and sucking air in the waning moments of extra time. But, sometimes, lightning can strike twice.

Gerardo Alcoba was in the right place at the right time after a broken set piece placed the ball right at his feet, and be buried it into the back of the net for the game-tying goal in the 119th minute.

The miracle continued, but the magic for Pumas finally ran out during penalty kicks, as Fidel Martinez missed everything on his first shot, and Javier Cortes shot was saved by Nahuel Guzman who was stellar all-night and Tigres was crowned the champions of Mexico.

It's Tigres fourth title in team history, and they become the 10th team in Liga MX to accomplish such a feat. It's their first championship since 2011. On the flip side, Pumas was handed their sixth loss in a Liga MX final, the second most in the Mexican League's history.

© 2023 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.