(East Los Angeles, CA)[From The Editor’s Desk]: In this highly publicized and talked about soccer match between the USA-based’s MLS Reigning Champions, LAFC, and its opponent for the “Campeones Cup” Final, Los Tigres de la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL), and representing LIGA MX, the 8:00 pm Fall evening kick-off, was just right and perfect for the beautiful game to be played here in our City of The Angels, Los Angeles, CA.
After a scoreless 1st half, here are two plays that influenced how the match would end. At the 60th minute of the 2nd period, #99 Forward, Dénis Bouanga, brought the crowd to its feet when he nearly scored a goal in front of the Tigres excellent goal keeper, #1 Nahuel Guzmán. But, a bit later with the 78th minute showing on the BMO Stadium scoreboard, Bouanga was involved in another shot attempt, and it appeared to count as the crowd exploded with thunderous noise led by E lGrupo 3252.
However, after an immediate appeal to Referee Drew Fischer, by Tigres goalkeeper Guzmán, to review the play, it was found that the infraction took place when LAFC’s defender, #14 Giorgio Chiellini was called for a “Ball in Motion” violation when he moved the ball from the designated spot of the Free Kick. This nullified Bouanga’s goal, and play resumed still tied at (0-0).
In what could be best described as a full-time, scoreless match with added stoppage minutes, by either squad, and after going back and forth at each other in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gear drives, there were no dominant or consistent scoring attacks for fans to cheer and applause. Neither was there anything that led to scoring cycles creating separation by even the marginal leads of (1-0), (2-1), or other similar close scores. Thus, it was all left up to the “Best 5” situational players that both Head Coaches, LAFC’s Steve Cherundolo, and UANL’s Robert Siboldi, had to call upon to win the match under Penalty Kick rules. The majority of the 20,605 crowd obviously favored LAFC, but the UANL Tigres, also had their significant big block of supporters in attendance to encourage and root them on to the match’s conclusion.
And so it was that the “shoot-out” would have to take place. It didn’t last very long as the Tigres, goaltender, Guzmán controlled his protective space with intuitive defense of staying grounded as long as possible and outsmarting LAFC’s #11 Timothy Tillman and #24 Ryan Hollingshead with his timely and calculated blocks on their shots. Bouanga and Ilie Sánchez managed to sharply drive the ball past the goalie on their shots for their successful penalty kicks. Meanwhile, Coach Cherundolo decided to substitute in as LAFC’s goalkeeper, #77 John McCarthy, who appeared to be not sharply focused enough as he normally is when playing the full-time 90 minutes. The result, all four UANL Tigres (#10 André Gignac, #9 Nicolas Ibañez, #19 Guido Pizarro, and #27 Jesús Angulo) all consecutively scored rather easily on him and thus it ended in a (4-2) score on penalty kicks in favor of the Tigres, crediting them with the victory and the Final official score of (1-0) in this 2023 version of the “Campeones Cup.”
We hope you will take time to also read the concise summary below composed by the LAFC Communications staff, and then view the outstanding photo gallery we have put together for this production. It will certainly capture many aspects of the match in a photo-journalistic manner that tells the story through the lens of a camera and the keen vision of our photographer, Frankli Robles.
LAFC FALLS TO TIGRES ON PENALTY KICKS IN CAMPEONES CUP
The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) lost to Tigres UANL of Liga MX 4-2 on penalty kicks in the Campeones Cup on Wednesday night at BMO Stadium following a 0-0 draw at the end of regulation.
LAFC were reduced to 10 men in the 63rd minute when Diego Palacios was shown a second yellow card. Despite being a man down, LAFC appeared to take the lead 15 minutes later when Denis Bouanga, who has 27 goals in all competitions for LAFC this season, fired a low, right-footed shot into the net, only for the goal to be called back for an infraction in the buildup.
Tigres would finish with 10 men after Rafael Carioca pulled Bouanga down to halt a breakaway in the 85th minute.
The game would finish 0-0 in regulation before Tigres would convert all four of their penalty kick attempts to win the shootout 4-2 and claim the Campeones Cup.
[NEWS & NOTES]
- This was the second time that LAFC and Tigres have met in a final, with Tigres claiming a 2-1 win in the 2020 Concacaf Champions League Final.
- Goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau started his fourth straight game for LAFC. Since rejoining the first team, he has kept a clean sheet in three of his four appearances, allowing just two goals and making seven saves in that time.
LAFC returns to MLS play on Sunday, October 1 when the club hosts Real Salt Lake at BMO Stadium. That game will kick off at 5 p.m. PT and will be broadcast free on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, FS1 and on radio on 710 AM ESPN Los Angeles and 980 AM La Mera Mera (ESP).