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Soccer-UANL Tigres win Mexican championship via penalty shootout
December 26, 2016 / 4:00 AM / 9 months ago

Soccer-UANL Tigres win Mexican championship via penalty shootout

Dec 25 (Reuters) - Goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman was the hero in a penalty shootout as the UANL Tigres won the Mexican Apertura championship against Club America in Monterrey on Sunday.

Club America could not find a way past Guzman in the shootout, the keeper saving all three shots he faced from the spot after the teams had finished the two-leg final locked at 2-2 on aggregate.

The Tigres were flawless from the spot, converting three out of three to claim their fifth league title in unlikely circumstances.

Only minutes earlier, the home side had seemed headed for defeat as the clock ticked into the 119th minute in the second leg of the final, before Jesus Duenas sent the Estadio Universitario crowd into a frenzy when he scored with a powerful header to make it 1-1 on the night.

An ecstatic Duenaz celebrated by jumping onto the back of a police officer near the corner flag.

Earlier, the Tigres hit the post twice in regulation -- including a 25-metre strike by Frenchman Andre-Pierre Gignac -- before the 90 minutes finished without a score.

Gignac played all 120 minutes -- and scored the first goal of the shootout -- despite being warned it would be risky to play again only three days after suffering a neck injury.

Club America substitute Edson Alverez broke the deadlock with a header in the 95th minute, but the visitors played the final 15 minutes with only nine men, after having two players sent off, one after a chaotic, massive brawl on the touchline.

The Tigres were down to 10 men, but the one-man advantage gave them plenty of space and Duenaz finally exploited it, making amends for hitting the bar with a header in regulation. (Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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