Saturday, January 23, 2021

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Historic Club World Cup ticket on the line for Tigres and LAFC 

  • Tigres and LAFC will contest the Concacaf Champions League final
  • Winner will represent the region at February’s FIFA Club World Cup
  • LAFC aiming to be first-ever MLS club to win the competition

The year is nearing an end, but there is still some important business to be decided when it comes to the sport’s top club competition, the FIFA Club World Cup™. Tigres and Los Angeles FC are the two teams left standing at the end of the long and winding road of the 2020 Concacaf Champions League. History will be made no matter which club is lifting the coveted continental trophy into the Orlando night sky in the wee hours of Wednesday. FIFA.com previews what’s sure to be a scintillating final.

The game

Concacaf Champions League Final: Tigres v LAFC

22 December, Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Florida (22:00 local time – 23 Dec 04:00 CET)

The tie is intriguing for a number of reasons, not least because a victory would be a huge step forward for either club and that it will be the first time in history that the clubs have met. Look no further than each side’s strikers, who both wear the No10 jersey: Andre-Pierre Gignac for Tigres and Carlos Vela for LAFC. Both are highly skilful, capable of pulling off magnificent goals, lead their teams by example and have a history of scoring vital, late winners.

Their prolificacy in this year’s competition speaks for itself, with both tied at the top of the scoring chart on five goals and coming off braces in their respective semi-finals. Both are their club’s all-time leading marksman, too. The one factor that may give Gignac the edge is that he has experience of scoring in Concacaf Champions League finals (two goals). It will be intriguing to see which forward uses their momentum most effectively in Tuesday’s decider.

Paths to the final

Tigres have scored the most goals of any team in this year’s competition (13): they recorded a 5-4 aggregate victory over Alianza in the Round of 16, a 5-0 aggregate win over New York City FC in the quarter-finals and a 3-0 reverse of Olimpia in the semis.

LAFC, playing in the Concacaf Champions League for the first time, have had to get past three Liga MX clubs to arrive at the final. They beat Club Leon 3-2 on aggregate, Cruz Azul 2-1 in the quarters and Club America 3-1 in the last four.

The stat

3 – Los Angeles FC are the first Major League Soccer club in Concacaf Champions League history to beat three Mexican clubs en route the competition’s final. Even more impressive is that Bob Bradley’s side came from behind in all three ties to win. Will they make it four in a row against Tigres?

Did you know?

This will be Tigres’ fourth Champions League final. The team from Monterrey have lost all three of their previous appearances, all against Liga MX clubs: Club America (2016), Pachuca (2017) and Monterrey (2019).

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