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Francisco Meza: The Hero For Tigres In The Liga MX Apertura 2017 Final

Tigres vs Chivas 2017
Wikimedia - Aldo Martinez

This past Sunday, Tigres UANL earned its sixth Liga MX title and the hero of the game for Los Felinos had to be Francisco Meza. The Colombian defender was filling in for Hugo Ayala after he received a red card in the first leg of this final and Meza put in a tremendous performance and scored the title-winning goal.

The historic goal came in the 35th minute of the game off a corner that was played short to Rafael Carioca, the Brazilian whipped in the cross and Meza found space in between Monterrey’s defenders to head the ball in the back of the net. The Barranquilla native was also spectacular defensively with nine clearances, six interceptions and six of 10 duels won.

Meza had only played in six games during the Apertura 2017 regular season, five were as a starter and something that did stand out was his very high pass accuracy of 85.7-percent. The 26-year-old centre-back also only committed only two fouls in those six games and recovered the ball 148 times.

Francisco Meza was no stranger to playing in crucial games as he had a long track record of success with one of Colombia’s biggest clubs Santa Fe. “Pacho” won five titles with Santa Fe including two Colombian league titles and the 2015 Copa Sudamericana. His history of success with the team from Bogota was setting him up for this final and the most important goal he has scored in his career. The Colombian was not even supposed to feature as a starter in this final but made the most of his opportunity and will now be a figure in the history of Tigres UANL forever.