Mexico City - French striker Andre-Pierre Gignac crowned his
surprising move to Mexico by scoring in a dramatic league final on Sunday that
gave his Tigres of Monterrey their fourth title.
Gignac's Tigres beat the Pumas of Mexico City by winning a
penalty shootout 4-2 in the second leg of the final played in the nation's
The former Marseille player scored a goal in each leg,
ending the Apertura-2015 season with 15 goals.
"I'm the happiest person in the world," Gignac
said in brief comments after the game. "It was an incredible
Many scratched their heads when the 30-year-old forward left
Marseille, where he scored 21 goals last season, and shrugged off interest from
other European clubs to join Monterrey in June.
His good form helped him get recalled to the French national
team last month after a year-long absence.
Also read: France striker Gognac’s Mexico gamble pays off
On Sunday, he had a key part in the title game, though
Tigres saw their 3-0 first leg advantage evaporate as Pumas fought back in a
packed 58,000-capacity Olimpico Universitario stadium.
The team of the National Autonomous University of Mexico
(UNAM) hit three goals in regulation, Paraguayan midfielder Silvio Torales
heading a corner into the goal in the 87th minute to make it 3-0 at full time
and level the tie.
Gignac thought he had sealed the championship in the first
half of extra-time when he controlled a cross perfectly with his right foot in
the area, turning toward the goal and firing the ball past the keeper to
reclaim the aggregate goal advantage.
But Pumas defender Gerardo Alcoba revived his team's hopes a
minute before the end when a long throw-in was deflected in front of him and he
shot the ball home for 4-1 after extra time.
The Pumas collapsed during the ensuing penalty shootout,
with Fidel Martinez hitting the first shot wide left.
Gignac was up next and fired his penalty past the diving
Tigres' Argentine keeper Nahuel Guzman then saved a shot by
Javier Cortes and his team-mate Israel Sabdi Jimenez scored the winner.
Pumas played much of extra-time with 10 men after forward
Eduardo Herrera was booked a second time in the 90th minute after a reckless
slide tackle on a defender.
Tigres defender Hugo Ayala was doubled booked five minutes
before the end of extra-time.For
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