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SCCL: LAFC fall short to Tigres in first-ever Finals after valiant effort

LAFC fall short in Concacaf Champions League Finals, losing to Tigres UANL, 2-1. This article recaps all the action from the match.

Orlando, Fla. — LAFC reaching their first finals was the climax of a fairytale. Through the trials and tribulations this year had to offer, Los Angeles were able to put it together at the end, making a magical run. However, this isn’t a fairytale. Unfortunately for LAFC, they fell short in the Champions League Finals, losing 2-1 to Mexican giant Tigres.

So it goes.

LAFC Fall Short in First Ever Finals After Valiant Effort

The match, from the start, was hotly contested. Apparently it was ruled no holds barred, as none of the 40 total fouls in the match resulted in a yellow card. The first half was even, in a sense. Los Angeles had the better, and more consistent, opportunities to score, but Tigres controlled possession and felt in control of the match as a whole. The two sides went into halftime scoreless, with everything on the line in the second half.

That is exactly how they played.

The intensity went up to 11, the fouls became a bit more common, a bit harder, and neither side was willing to give an inch. LAFC did something they had yet to do in the tournament, take the lead. In the 61st minute, Mark-Anthony Kaye lofted a cross far post, with Diego Rossi getting on the end of it for the opener. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, it didn’t last long.

In what has been an all too common sight this season, Tigres found the equalizer via corner kick. Hugo Ayala was able to find space in the zonal marking and get his head on the kick, flicking it in far post in the 72nd minute. Tigres put the match away in the 84th minute, behind a strike from outside the box by André Gignac. With that goal, Tigres got to lift the Champions League trophy while LAFC were left heartbroken in another disappointing loss.

So it goes.

Tigres Overcame

What went unnoticed by many stateside was the motivation Tigres had coming into the match. For all the talk about LAFC, who are only in their third year of actual existence, it was Tigres who had botched three of their last five CCL Finals appearances. In addition, they were the last line of defense in regards to an MLS side finally toppling the stranglehold Mexican sides have held over the Concacaf Champions League.

Chameleons for the entirety of the tournament, Tigres were able to adjust to any style they faced. Their way of playing was lulling opposition into thinking they were in control, when really, it was Tigres pulling the strings. For them, it was the storybook ending to a tumultuous few years. When they went down a goal, they didn’t crumble under the pressure of the past, instead they found another gear, and proceeded to wear out LAFC until the very end. For that, at the very least, they deserve respect.

The Last Word

The Los Angeles Football Club will be fine. This loss stings, it feels like another in a long line of disappointing ends to otherwise promising beginnings. The calls for heads to roll and players to be sent packing have already, and wrongfully, begun. However, with how the year has gone, and with just over a week left before a new start, this is not the time for negatives. Instead, let us bask in all that went right with this club, when everything around them went wrong.

Never forget Mark-Anthony Kaye taking a very vocal leadership role in the fight against injustice. Leading the charge for the team, and the league, to do more, to put action behind the words so often used without follow through. Remember the flashes of utter brilliance from players who have an entire career ahead of them. Top performances from 16-year-old Christian Torres, the call-ups of fellow Academy players Erik Duñas and Tony Leone. The incredibly clutch goal from 19-year-old Kwadwo Opoku.

Most importantly, for better or worse, hold on to the fact that, despite all that happened this year, we got to watch this team play. Throughout the uncertainty, the trials, the tribulations, the anxiety and concerns, LAFC came together and did everything they could to provide fans with some light during these absolute dark times. While this team, as constructed, may have played their final game together, believe this club will come back stronger. Whether you like it or not, LAFC are her to stay, and regardless of your feelings, they will be champions sooner or later.

So it goes.


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