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Monday Kickoff: Tigres wins wild Apertura final; Europa round of 32 revealed; and more


In one of the wildest finishes to a final in 2015, Tigres UANL emerged as champion.

Despite entering the second leg on Sunday down 3-0, Pumas UNAM was able to force extra time in the Liga MX Apertura final, scoring three unanswered goals. Tigres pushed ahead once again, though, as Andre-Pierre Gignac scored the first goal in the extra periods, but Gerardo Alcoba scored for Pumas with minutes to spare to force penalties. Tigres finally won the title, 4-2, in the shootout.

While Pumas entered the Liguilla competition as the No. 1-overall seed, it was no surprise that Tigres head coach Ricardo ‘Tuca’ Ferretti capped his incredible year as a champion. The Mexican-Brazilian coach led Tigres to the Copa Libertadores final in August while also heading the Mexican national team for a brief stint that included being in charge of Mexico’s CONCACAF Cup win against the U.S. Men’s National Team. He also led Tigres to the 2014 Apertura final, but was unable to win it then.

A member of the USMNT was among those Tigres players that celebrated the club’s fourth title. Jose Torres entered the game as a substitute in the 61st minute, playing through until the penalty shootout.

After celebrations come to an end, Tigres will begin its preparations for the 2016 Clausura on Jan. 8. The champion will also be competing in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League knockout phase, playing Real Salt Lake in a quarterfinal on Feb. 24 and March 2.

Here are some more news and notes:


The pairings are set, and Sevilla will start its campaign for a third consecutive UEFA Europa League title against the 2014 Norwegian champions.

Molde stands in Sevilla’s way to another title, as the pairings for the UEFA Europa League round of 32 were revealed on Monday.

Meanwhile, Tottenham-Fiorentina, Dortmund-Porto, Olympiacos-Anderlecht, Galatasaray-Lazio and Shakhtar Donetsk-Schalke are just a handful of enticing battles.

The first legs will be played on Feb. 18, with the second legs scheduled for Feb. 25.

Here is a closer look at the Europa League round of 32 draw:

Valencia (ESP) v Rapid Wien (AUT)
Fiorentina (ITA) v Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)
Borussia Dortmund (GER) v Porto (POR)
Fenerbahçe (TUR) v Lokomotiv Moskva (RUS)
Anderlecht (BEL) v Olympiacos (GRE)
Midtjylland (DEN) v Manchester United (ENG)
Augsburg (GER) v Liverpool (ENG)
Sparta Praha (CZE) v Krasnodar (RUS)
Galatasaray (TUR) v Lazio (ITA)
Sion (SUI) v Braga (POR)
Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) v Schalke (GER)
Marseille (FRA) v Athletic Club (ESP)
Sevilla (ESP, holders) v Molde (NOR)
Sporting CP (POR) v Bayer Leverkusen (GER)
Villarreal (ESP) v Napoli (ITA)
St-Étienne (FRA) v Basel (SUI)


U.S. prosecutors have now turned their attention to media companies in connection to the corruption investigation of FIFA officials.

According to Reuters, 21st Century Fox is currently under investigation due to its connection to T&T Sports Marketing Ltd.

Executives affiliated with T&T Sports Marketing reportedly bribed FIFA officials for TV rights, and Rupert Murdoch’s US media company has invested in the media company since 2002.

Although T&T Sports Marketing eventually secured the media right to events like Copa Libertadores and other tournaments, the company is not a broadcaster itself. However, having attained the rights, it could then re-sell them. According to the report, Murdoch’s company ended up some of those rights.


Just three days away from the 2015 Club World Cup semifinals, Neymar is missing from Barcelona.

The Brazilian playmaker was not with his club for its first day of training ahead of the team’s Club World Cup semifinal match against Guangzhou Evergrande.

Neymar has been recovering from a groin injury, which also sidelined dim during Barcelona’s most recent UEFA Champions League game against Bayer Leverkusen.


Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta said Paulo Dybala still has potential, so he will not be sold. (REPORT)

Before the draw that saw Paris Saint-Germain paired with Chelsea, Brazilian centerback David Luiz said he was confident that PSG can win the UEFA Champions League. (REPORT)

What did you think of the Liga MX Liguilla final? Which UEFA Europa League match are you most looking forward to?

Share your thoughts below.

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