America claimed the Liga MX Clausura title in extraordinary fashion on Sunday, beating Cruz Azul on penalties in the two-legged tie.
Trailing 1-0 after the first leg at Cruz Azul, the second-leg hosts were in real trouble when Teofilo Gutierrez put the visitors at the Estadio Azteca 2-0 up on aggregate through 20 minutes.
The goal added further pain for America after Jesus Molina saw red six minutes earlier to make life tough for America.
Gutierrez ran onto a long through ball down the right side before tucking away a low strike inside the far post to increase his side’s overall lead, and give them a 1-0 buffer on the night.
And entering the final two minutes of normal time, Cruz Azul fans could have been forgiven for thinking the title was theirs, only for late heroics to send the home fans hysterical.
Firstly, Aquivaldo Mosquera pulled a goal back in the 89th minute after the Colombian defender’s well-placed header bounced in at the far post past Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jose Corona.
America goalkeeper Moises Munoz then produced a stunning diving header from a 93rd-minute corner, with the ball finding the back of the net via the boot of Cruz Azul defender Alejandro Castro, whose attempted block was in vain.
Both sides were then scoreless in extra-time, before shot-stopper Munoz furthered his heroics by helping his side win the shootout 4-2.
Munoz kept out Javier Orozco on the first spot-kick of the best-of-five finale, and it took Cruz until their third penalty to get on the board when Rogelio Martinez was successful.
America did not miss from their four chances, and when Miguel Layun slotted the last of those, the title was theirs for the 11th time and their first since 2005.
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