HOUSTON, October 7.- Houston seems to be good for the UANL Tigres, since once more they scored three goals to beat Santos 3-0, in a friendly match during the FIFA calendar.
The last time they were in this city, they defeated América 3-2, and they repeated this dose today.
Tigres made a strong start, taking possession and good control of the ball as they cleared their way forwards, where Lucas Zelarayan was the star player, with Damián Álvarez and Ismael Sosa as wingers.
The two defensive midfielders, Manuel Viniegra and Gringo Torres, looked particularly strong, backed by Juninho and José Rivas, while Andy Delort looked intimidating as a striker.
In the first five minutes, our team had already created three goal opportunities: at 3’, Sosa made his way in the box, but was unarmed; then at 4’, a one-two between Sosa and Zelarayan couldn’t make it past the outskirts of the area; and at 5’, Zelarayan’s shot went just wide of the post.
Tigres was determined to give a good show in Houston’s BBVA Compass, where the majority of the fans were easily identified as the ‘Incomparable ones’ in the stands.
Our team kept pressing forward, with Damián Álvarez on the left, whose centering pass at 14’ held a lot of promise, but nobody was able to finish.
Just one minute later, Damián took possession of the ball again, cut back and opened up a space to cross the ball past the post and bring the score to 1-0. The elated fans brought the colors blue and yellow to life in the stands.
Not a minute later, Damián crossed to Andy Delort, but the goalkeeper put a stop to this opportunity.
Santos tried to react with a shot by Martín Bravo that went straight into the hands of Enrique Palos, who wasn’t having a very challenging evening.
Tigres continued to press forward and were rewarded at 33’ with the second goal, when Gringo Torres centered the ball to the far post, where Sosa gave way to Zelarayan, whose header hurtled past Marchesin.
With a 2-0 score, Ricardo Ferretti’s men began playing at a slower pace, possessing the ball more, but without taking so many risks, with the aim of forcing Santos to move forward to look for the ball.
Nevertheless, Gringo Torres, at the 39-minute mark, had an opportunity near the right post, but Santos reacted with a shot to the crossbar by Freddy Hinestroza.
Tuca made three substitutions for the second half, taking Juninho, Sosa and Zelarayan off, and replacing them with Luis Rodríguez, Luis Quiñones and Jorge Espericueta, changing the pace of the match.
At 47’, Delort could have scored his first goal as a Tigre, when he broke away down the middle, cutting back into the penalty area where his cross just skimmed past the right-hand post.
Santos was starting to react, and at 56’ Diego de Buen sent the ball into Palos’ hands, and later, at 62’, Palos’ save sent the ball for a corner.
However, Tigres began attacking once more, and at 65’ Espericueta sent a shot from outside the area that the Santos goalie stopped on his line, but at 67’, from a corner, Luis Quiñones appeared to bring the score to 3-0.
With this broad advantage, our team passed the ball to each other, controlling the match so as not to allow the opponent to gain possession near Palos’ goal area.
At 82’, Espericueta almost made it four when his free kick after a foul went wide of the left post.
In the end, the yellow and blue triumph was celebrated by almost 8 mil Incomparable ones who made our men feel quite at home.
TIGRES: Enrique Palos; Alberto Acosta, Juninho (Luis Rodríguez 46’), José Rivas, Israel Jiménez (David Navarro 70’), Manuel Viniegra (Fernando Mayor 77’), José Francisco Torres (José García 66’), Lucas Zelarayan (Luis Quiñones 46’), Damián Álvarez (Julio Ibarra 79’), Ismael Sosa (Jorge Espericueta 46’) and Andy Delort (Fernando Fernández 66’).
SANTOS: Agustín Marchesin (Julio González 46’); José Abella (Diego de Buen 46’), Kristian Álvarez, Ulises Dávila (Bryan Rabello 46’), Freddy Hinestroza, Djaniny Tavares (Uriel Antuna 56’), Martín Bravo, Emiliano Armenteros, Carlos Izquierdos, Ulises Rivas (Gael Sandoval 52’) and Gerardo Arteaga (Jorge Sánchez 46’).
1-0 (15’) Damián Álvarez clears his way to cross the ball into the net.
2-0 (33’) Lucas Zelarayan scores with a header form a pass by Ismael Sosa.
3-0 (67’) Luis Quiñones finishes past the far post from a corner.
Diego de Buen (85’), Santos
Kevin Terry Junior