SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Saturday, February 25, 2017.- Tigres worked hard today to earn a point against Morelia, and although the final score was 1-1, the universitarios struggled to equalize.
Today’s match was tinged with poignancy since, during the afternoon, the man who led the felines to their first two titles, Don Carlos Miloc, passed away.
Before the start of the match, a minute of silence was observed for the famed, much-loved ‘Tanque’, which turned into a minute of applause affectionately dedicated to him by all the supporters present in the Universitario Stadium. Moreover, the team warmed up sporting a commemorative shirt with a photograph of Miloc on the front and the words, “Farewell, Don Carlos”.
Tigres’ lineup was the same as for the Veracruz match, with Luis Quiñones and Ismael Sosa as left and right wingers, respectively, and the Peruvian Luis Advíncula on the right flank. André-Pierre Gignac was accompanied by Edu Vargas up front.
Tigres attacked from the start, taking advantage of Luis Advíncula’s pace and the mobility in the midfield, with, in fact, Guido Pizarro generating the first opportunity in an individual play at minute 4 that ended up going over the crossbar.
Two minutes later, Advíncula broke away on the right, back passed to Ismael Sosa, who with a half turn ceded to Eduardo Vargas, but his shot hit the left post and was saved by the goalkeeper, Carlos Rodríguez.
Morelia made it quite clear that they had not come to the Universitario to surrender and, at minute 13, Aarón Fernández prevented the fall of his net with a fine save, blocking the shot that looked certain to be a goal.
Tigres persisted, taking advantage of Luis Quiñones’ mobility and speed that gave the Morelia defense a run for its money. However, minute 22 saw the clearest opportunity so far, with a drilled cross for André-Pierre Gignac, who was on his own in the box, but the shot went wide.
At 30’, and after several options that the universitarios had been unable to finish, the referee awarded a penalty to the visitors for a play in which Hugo Ayala was unable to clear the ball properly. Raúl Ruidíaz converted the penalty to bring the score to 0-1.
The felines lost their footing for a few moments when their best quality throughout the tournament, accurate passing, disappeared making them lose the ball easily in every area of the pitch.
The first half came to an end with the hosts a goal down. There were sparks of brilliance on the pitch as well as a thrilling gesture by the Tigres fans who cried “Mexico” whenever the opponent’s goalkeeper cleared the ball.
The second 45 minutes started with the same 22 men on the pitch, but with the same tenor as the end of the first half, with Tigres eager but unable to reach the opponent’s goal, while Morelia appeared to control the field.
Ricardo Ferretti looked to the bench at 65’, in an endeavor to refresh the left side, sending Damián Álvarez on to replace Quiñones, and, in this way, achieve greater depth. He was quickly rewarded when ‘Enano’ crossed with precision to Gignac, who sent the ball into the back of the net, for a 1-1 tie.
Damián appeared to stir the team up to a revolution and the felines became more dangerous, lifting the supporters’ spirits in the stands. Then, Lucas Zelarayán substituted Sosa, modifying the formation, leaving ‘Chino’ in the hole, behind the two forwards.
Morelia tried to waste as much time as possible in every play, while the felines attacked from every sector of the pitch, but were unable to produce the winning goal in the zone.
The match ended in a one-goal draw, giving the felines 8 points and André-Pierre his second goal of the tournament.
On the day that Carlos Miloc passed away, the teams he most loved in his life were competing against each other. He arrived in Morelia as a player and was so grateful that he named his daughter after that city. Tigres adopted him for his courage and he led the team to two Liga titles.
1-1 (71’) André-Pierre Gignac header that found the back of the net after a cross from the left by Damián Álvarez.
0-1 (30’) Raúl Ruidíaz, penalty.
Tigres: Aarón Fernández; Luis Advíncula, Hugo Ayala, Juninho and Jorge Torres Nilo; Guido Pizarro, Jesús Dueñas, Ismael Sosa (Lucas Zelarayán 79’) and Luis Quiñones (Damián Álvarez 65’); Eduardo Vargas and André-Pierre Gignac
Morelia: Carlos Rodriguez; Sebastián Vegas, Gabriel Achiller, Enrique Pérez and Emanuel Loeschbor; Rodrigo Millar, Aldo Rocha, Andy Polo (Gastón Lezcano 65’) and Raúl Ruidíaz (Juan Rodríguez 85’); Jefferson Cuero (Jorge Zárate 82’) and Diego Valdés
José Alfredo Peñaloza
Tigres: Guido Pizarro (6’), Juninho (64’)
Morelia: Gabriel Achiller (89’), Emanuel Loeschbor (38’), Carlos Rodríguez (76’), Jefferson Cuero (81’)