América and defending champion Tigres are set to square off in the Liga MX Final, in a match being declared a “non-classic” Clásico.
These two powerhouses spent the previous decade battling for league supremacy and met twice in the Finals, each club winning once (América claiming the Apertura 2014 crown; Tigres hoisting the Apertura 2016 trophy).
Tigres appeared in seven Liga MX finals between 2011 and 2019, winning five championships, while the Aguilas reached six finals between 2013 and 2019, taking home the silverware three times.
As a result, the media spent much of the decade quibbling over whether or not Tigres-América deserved to be labeled a “Classic” with the nays winning out, declaring it didn’t rise to the level of a traditional “Clásico.” This week, the yays revived their argument.
Champion Tigres host top-seeded Aguilas in Finals opener
“Clásico” or not, these two clubs deserve to be in the final.
Tigres are the defending champs and return to the final as the No. 3 seed, while América was the best team in the league throughout the regular season, riding a 16-game unbeaten streak to the top of the table and the No. 1 seed.
The Aguilas are in their league-best 19th final and are hoping to claim their 14th championship, most in Liga MX history.
Tigres are aiming to become the fourth franchise to win back-to-back titles since the league switched to a short-season format in 1996. The other three clubs to pull off the repeat are UNAM (Clausura 2004 and Apertura 2004), León (Apertura 2013 and Clausura 2014) and Atlas (Apertura 2021 and Clausura 2022).
A quick look back at the history between these two rivals shows that Tigres leads 4-3 in direct elimination playoff series.
A few other bits of trivia involving these two Liga MX giants:
— In the two previous finals clashes between Tigres and América, the higher-seeded team won. The Aguilas are the higher-seeded team this time around.
— Of the 14 previous finals series in which América was the higher seed, the Aguilas won 11.
— The series opens in “El Volcán” where América – unbeaten on the road this season (6-3-0 with a 19-7 goal differential) – has lost only five times in the past 20 meetings at Tigres’ home stadium. The Aguilas boast a 7-8-5 record at the Estadio Universitario since 2004.