MONTERREY, May 13, 2017.- André-Pierre Gignac scored yet another brace against the Monterrey Rayados in the 112th derby, to send the UANL Tigres into the Clausura 2017 Semifinal with a 6-1 aggregate victory.
The French forward scored a superb goal in the first half and then another to put to bed a match in which Tigres patiently waited for their rival whenever Rayados endeavored to move up front.
Manager Ricardo Ferretti sent on the same 11 as last Wednesday when Tigres hammered Monterrey 4-1, although he soon had to make some modifications given the opponent’s strategy.
The first 45 minutes displayed a duel of strategies between the two sides. One with the idea of getting the ball into the zone as soon as possible, and the other with the intention of waiting, recovering and maintaining possession.
At the four-minute mark, Lucas Zelarayán sought a pass in the box, but it was too long and the chance fizzled out.
It was at that moment when a series of long-balls into Guzmán’s area began, seeking either Funes Mori or Dorlan Pabón.
At 6’, the ball found its way to Funes Mori in the box, but the Argentine was slow off the mark, unlike Tigres’ defense, with Hugo Ayala clearing the threat away.
Just three minutes later, Jesús Molina had a go on the right with a shot that Nahuel just needed to lean down to save.
The referee began to get out the cards. Funes Mori was shown a yellow since at minute 21, with his slide tackle on Nahuel’s clearance, he kicked the goalkeeper’s leg, but was just cautioned.
Minute 23 saw Rayados’ closest goal opportunity, when Efraín Juárez headed the ball just wide of Nahuel’s left post.
Tuca saw that the recovery zone needed reinforcing, rather than overlapping, so he took off Zelarayán, who wasn’t enjoying his best afternoon, and replaced him with Francisco Meza, who at times played as the third forward.
And it was precisely Meza’s header, following a corner, that went over the crossbar at minute 30.
A minute later, a powerful shot by Pabón shook Nahuel’s right post, to be cleared by the netkeeper, quashing any chance of a goal.
Luis Rodríguez could have become a hero at minute 41, when he forced his way into the box with the goalkeeper facing him and Gignac by his side, but he chose to play individually and just achieved a corner.
The fierce attack on Javier Aquino gave Tigres, in injury time, a goal opportunity from yet another foul on the Oaxaca native. André-Pierre Gignac’s masterly free kick skimmed past the left post into the net, bringing the score to 1-0 and silencing the stadium in the third stoppage-time minute.
The hosts made two halftime substitutions with the idea of looking for the goal that would give them hope of catching up in the aggregate.
As a result, at 47’, Monterrey had a chance through Pabón whose shot flew over Nahuel’s goal, and then, at 50’, Funes Mori attempt from inside the box went wide of the left post.
At 52’, Dueñas, assisted by Gignac, did not hesitate to send a shot from outside the box, but the ball smashed into an opponent.
Tuca then decided on his second substitution, replacing Dueñas with Luis Advincula, with the idea of reinforcing the waning recovery.
Monterrey had greater ball possession, forced by the need for a goal and played from end to end with the idea of putting our team on the spot, but the defense more than fulfilled their task.
Moreover, at minute 68, Meza sent a long ball to Gignac, who made his way on his own into the box to finish superbly, making it 2-0 and sending the Incomparable Ones who had made their way to the La Pastora area of the city into a frenzy.
It was time to retreat, since the rival needed six goals to win, which by now was practically impossible for the home side.
Nahuel Guzmán, at minute 74, flew from post to post to prevent a goal by Pabón, who, from a set-piece situation, looked as though he could narrow the score gap.
Afterwards, at 80’, Nahuel cleared a powerful shot by Marco Bueno, conceding a corner.
The minutes ticked by and our team continued to defend, and even had two opportunities to score a third goal.
With this overwhelming victory, Tigres wins a spot in the semifinals and comes a step closer to the sixth star in their history.
MONTERREY: Hugo González; César Montes, Iván Piris, José Basanta, Edgar Castillo, Walter Gargano (Yimmi Chará 46’), Jesús Molina, Efraín Juárez (Carlos Sánchez 46’), Edwin Cardona, Dorlan Pabón (Marco Bueno 65’) and Rogelio Funes Mori
TIGRES: Nahuel Guzmán; Alberto Acosta, Juninho, Hugo Ayala, Luis Rodríguez, Guido Pizarro, Jesús Dueñas (Luis Advincula 60’), Javier Aquino, Ismael Sosa (Jürgen Damm 73’), Lucas Zelarayan (Francisco Meza 27’) and André-Pierre Gignac.
0-1 (45+3) André-Pierre Gignac sends the ball into the net past the left-hand post from a direct free kick.
0-2 (68’) Francisco Meza sends a long-range pass to Gignac, who breaks away on his own into the box to score.
MONTERREY: Rogelio Funes Mori (20’), Walter Gargano (45’), Iván Piris (45+2), Dorlan Pabón (64’), José Basanta (75’) and Jesús Molina (89’).
TIGRES: Jesús Dueñas (20’) and Luis Rodríguez (32’).
REFEREE: Fernando Hernández Gómez
Assistant referee No. 1: Andrés Hernández Delgado
Assistant referee No. 2: Juan Carlos Salinas Salinas
Fourth official: Adonai Escobedo González