GUADALUPE, April 22, 2017.- The UANL Tigres fought to the very end, but fell 1-0 in the Monterrey Derby, keeping expectations on hold for the Playoffs in the Clausura 2017.
An injured Guido Pizarro was replaced by Francisco Meza in the feline defense, which is where Tigres was strongest.
In the first half, the home side looked slightly stronger in possession and opportunities in their opponent’s zone.
Just two minutes in to the match, Nahuel Guzmán was forced to intervene promptly to obstruct the Rayados’ attack, and again at 7’, when Chará entered the box, but was swiftly disarmed by Patón.
Pabon attempted once more with an off-target shot at 12’, while Tigres’ reaction at minute 15 was led by André-Pierre Gignac, though the blue-and-whites’ goalkeeper saved the shot.
Tigres tried to gain ball possession and increase circulation, but continued to have trouble in the overlaps, forcing them to look mostly to Ismael Sosa, who, at 20’, broke away, but his cross was unsuccessful.
At minute 25, Funes Mori tried to put his attempt into effect, entering the zone from the left, but Torres Nilo stopped his cross from going any further. Monterrey seemed to be in control of the match.
But Juninho soon contradicted this with a powerful shot that went wide to the right, just inches from a goal.
Four minutes later, our side’s most important play took place, when Jesús Dueñas tried to control in the box, face-to-face with the goalkeeper, but a center-back stole the ball.
Towards the end of the first half, a distracted Juninho lost the ball to Juárez, who passed to Pabon, but, unbelievably, the South American, marked by Hugo Ayala, fumbled his shot, letting his chance go begging.
The tone in the second half was similar, with no substitutions on either side, but Monterrey put more pressure on with their attack, although our Tigres sought to reach the touchline on Javier Aquino’s side.
Minute 51 saw Pabon inside the zone, but his shot from the right was saved brilliantly by Nahuel Guzmán.
Aquino’s opportunity at 55’, with a play from the left, came to nothing, though soon after, César Montes scored for Monterrey off a corner kick.
Tuca then decided to take off Meza, who had replaced an injured Guido Pizarro, to give Lucas Zelarayan an opportunity, just after having replaced Sosa with Jürgen Damm.
Tigres began to dominate possession, driven by their determination to equalize, and at minute 71, Damm broke away down the right, entered the box, but his cross was deflected by the goalkeeper and Zelarayán’s counterattack was cleared from the area by Monterrey’s defense.
Later on, Junihno was replaced by Damián Álvarez, seeking greater protection up front, moving Torres Nilo to the center and Aquino to the left wing.
At minute 85, Sánchez, seeing that Nahuel had come off the line, attempted a long-range shot that hit the crossbar, saving our side from conceding a second goal.
In the very last minutes, Tigres fought hard and the whole team, even Nahuel, tried to attack, but their efforts were in vain.
Towards the end of injury time, Damián managed to make contact in the box, but the netkeeper made the save, although with some difficulty.
MONTERREY: Hugo González; Edgar Castillo, César Montes, Iván Piris, Efraín Juárez, Rogelio Funes, Dorlan Pabon (Edwin Cardona 81’), José Basanta, Celso Ortiz (Walter Ayovi 75’), Jesús Molina and Yimmi Chará (Carlos Sánchez 65’)
TIGRES: Nahuel Guzmán; Jorge Torres Nilo, Juninho (Damián Álvarez 75’), Hugo Ayala, Luis Rodríguez, Francisco Meza (Lucas Zelarayan 66’), Jesús Dueñas, Javier Aquino, Ismael Sosa (Jürgen Damm 61’), Eduardo Vargas and André-Pierre Gignac.
1-0 (58’) Following a corner, César Montes’ shot went into the left-hand corner of the goal.
MONTERREY: Rogelio Funes (52’) and José Basanta (64’)
TIGRES: Hugo Ayala (52’), Jürgen Damm (67’), Juninho (72’), Jorge Torres Nilo (79’) and Jesús Dueñas (83’)
REFEREE: Roberto García Orozco
Assistant referee No. 1: Mario J. López Carrillo
Assistant referee No. 2: Michel Alejandro Morales Morales
Fourth Official: Fernando Hernández Gómez