Tigres fans were advised to be cautious in and around El Estadio Monumental in Argentina on Wednesday night. With soccer hooligans running amok, authorities were afraid brawls would break out between the two opposing fan bases.
The shadow of the Buenos Aires stadium on the pavement gave passersby an eerie calmness, even though the stadium was about to host the final of South America’s most well-known club tournament. The stadium, home to River Plate, was about to host the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final. An intense showdown between two sides was imminent.
Before the 2nd leg of the Copa Libertadores Final, there were three other instances that the two sides went head to head, failing to turnout a winner.
At their home stadium, in front of thousands of River fans, The 2015 Copa Libertadores Championship was won by a tenacious River Plate, winning the match 3-0.
Tigres failed to bring the dominance they showed in the first leg to the second leg of the final. Missed chances cost them dearly and they will now be remembered as another Mexican side that let glory slip through their fingers.
They could have been the first Mexican side to win the South American tournament. Unfortunately, they’ll go home disappointed in themselves and Tuca Ferreti, Tigres head coach, will have to rethink how to launch a future assault on South American opposition.
Tigres began the match in good spirits, with Jurgen Damm proving to be a menace on the right side of the pitch. It was one of these runs through the right side that almost gave Tigres a dream start to the match. Jurgen danced around River Plate players and passed the ball straight to Gignac in the 18 but Gignac failed to hit the ball, missing out on a chance to go ahead. There were other countless missed opportunities by Tigres and they’ll rue chances missed but recognize that River Plate were deserving of the win.
"They deserved it," said Tigres' Brazilian striker Sobis. "They should enjoy it. Life goes on."
River Plate won the tournament with a 3-0 aggregate score (0-0 in the first leg in Mexico). Goals were scored by Lucas Alario in the 45th minute, Carlos Sanchez in the 75th minute, and Funes Mori in the 79th minute. Their win against Tigres gave them their 3rd Copa Libertadores title.
"I'm incredibly happy for the fans who are enjoying this party," said Gallardo. "And we are going for more."
After a tumultuous four years that saw River relegated for the first time in their illustrious history, return to the Primera Division and win the fabled Copa Libertadores, River players, fans and coaching staff will go home knowing they’ve made history and so much more.