If the first leg of this year's CONCACAF Champions League final taught us anything, it is that the current form of the two teams involved doesn't count for much. Pachuca came into the game slumping, UANL was firing - and somehow Los Tuzos got out of the match with an away goal and a tie. The out-of-form visitors even managed to score first; red-hot Tigres contrived to miss a penalty: the game finished 1-1.
The first leg wasn't much influenced by the teams' form preceding it, and the second leg will perhaps be even less so. On the weekend between the two legs of this CCL final, both sides had Liga MX games to play. Tigres put out much the same side that had played Pachuca in the mid-week CCL game and lost to local rival Monterrey, 1-0. Pachuca rested most of the players who had been deployed for the opening leg of the CCL final, and lost, 1-0, to Atlas.
Both teams can't lose the second leg of this final: there will be a winner. The away goal Pachuca scored in the first leg provides a modest advantage - if the score is 0-0 after 90 minutes, Los Tuzos win the title on away goals. Pachuca is quite good at securing 0-0 draws: its last three home games in Liga MX have ended 0-0 - but past form doesn't appear to be all that relevant to this match-up.
Tigres, incidentally, have scored just once in their last four away games in Liga MX. To re-state: it doesn't matter. CCL is CCL: a different competition with a different context. UANL knows it must score to stay in the series, and a win or any multi-goal draw sees it lift the trophy. So expect Tigres to come out looking for an early goal. In the quarterfinals, Pumas took a 1-1 draw to the home leg of their series with UANL; Tigres scored first and won the match, 3-0. Maybe form does have some relevance, but not Liga MX form: Tigres had won just one of five league games prior to beating Pumas on the road in the CCL quarterfinals.
Pachuca meanwhile has come home from its last two CCL away-days with work to do. It had a 0-0 draw from the first leg of the quarterfinals in Costa Rica against Saprissa; it won the second leg, 4-0. In the semifinals, it lost the first leg in Dallas, 2-1, but won the second leg at home, 3-1.
Whichever team wins the final, it will be regarded as having fulfilled the prophesy of its earlier match-ups in this tournament: Tigres can get results on the road; Pachuca can make the best of home advantage - one team will do as it has been doing all year in CCL, regardless of what its form in Liga MX suggests.
If the score is 1-1 after 90 minutes, the game will go to extra time - and away goals are no longer relevant once extra time begins. If scores are still level after two 15-minute periods of extra time, the trophy will be handed to the winner of a penalty shoot-out.
Per livesoccertv.com, here's where to find the match: