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Liga MX

Chivas: Champions of Mexico For 12th Time

Chivas Liga MX
ZAPOPAN, MEXICO - MAY 28: Players of Chivas lift the champions trophy after the Final second leg match between Chivas and Tigres UANL as part of the Torneo Clausura 2017 Liga MX at Chivas Stadium on May 28, 2017 in Zapopan, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/LatinContent/Getty Images)

The cacophony of joy coming out of Estadio Chivas as the final whistle sounded, was 11 years in the making as fans of Chivas de Guadalajara screamed in joy. Finally Chivas had returned to the top of the Mexican soccer world after defeating Tigres UANL in the second leg of the playoff for the Clausura season.

Chivas won the championship by an aggregate score 4-3 over the two-legged final.  The win gave Chivas their 12th Mexican title tying them with their rival Club America for the most championships in Liga MX’s history. El Rebaño Sagrado also achieved the first domestic double since Necaxa did it in 1995 having won the Copa MX as well.

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For Chivas they gave their fans all the anxiety they could handle as they almost repeated the same stunning result from the first leg of the final.  In Monterrey Chivas led 2-0 for most of the game and then gave up two goals to Tigres striker Andre-Pierre Gignac in the 89th minute to send Chivas back home with a stunning tie at two all.

On their home pitch Chivas once again pushed the run of play and rewarded their fans when Alan Pulido scored the opening goal on a wonder strike meeting the ball strongly on a lofted pass in the box.  Just minutes before the goal, keeper Rodolfo Cota saved a chance by Jurgen Damm.  Cota would stop Tigres again shortly after the half keeping the margin at 1-0.

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At the 70 minute mark Chivas fans started to feel the title was closer as Jose Juan “Gallito” Vazquez gave the the team a two goal margin scoring on a deflected shot that snuck into the net. Guadalajara was only 20 minutes from the title but like the first leg things got interesting in the last few minutes.

The Guadalajara defense began to sag as Tigres pushed to equalize the game, Ismael Sosa scored a goal from outside the box at the 87th minute making it a 2-1 game.  Choppy and sloppy play followed as the teams traded yellow cards, then the most controversial play of the game occurred.

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Sosa broke into the box when he tried to take a pass, he seemed to be tripped in a clear penalty, but the referee refused to call a penalty as Tigres players protested.  That was the last gasp for Tigres, as the last whistle signaled a final sending Chivas manager Matias Almeyda running up the sideline in ecstasy as he hugged his players.

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For Chivas the team that prides itself as a symbol of Mexican soccer, this championship felt like validation of their Mexican-only player policy given the highly controversial 10/8 rule.  With their title win El Rebaño now will look to add more titles as they play for the Super Copa MX in July, and will represent Mexico in the CONCACAF Champions League.

For now the 40-million Chivas fans can rejoice as their team has returned to their throne as kings of Mexican soccer.

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