Tigres remains unbeaten after drawing at home with Cruz Azul
SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Saturday, September 24, 2016.- Tigres’ winning streak has ended having finished the week with seven points out of a possible nine, allowing them to remain unbeaten, after the 0-0 draw against Cruz Azul.
The felines have now reached 23 points and will have to wait for the Xolos’ result this Sunday to see if they are still in the top spot of the Mexican League.
It was a difficult match for the universitarios against a rival who was prepared to stand their ground on the pitch but were ultimately unable to take advantage of Tigres being a man down, since Ricardo Ferretti’s knew how to recover in order to defend their goal.
Tigres started the match with the same side as in the last few matches and that in the first two fixtures this week had earned six out of the six points in play for the team.
Meanwhile, Cruz Azul changed their lineup considerably, including the former Tigre, Joffre Guerrón, and endeavoring to put far more pressure on than any of the other opponents who had visited the Universitario Stadium, who normally prefer to wait behind their midfield line.
The start of the first half was very tight. Up to minute 25, no particularly dangerous opportunities existed in either zone, just a few attempts that simply ended either in the goalies’ hands or over the crossbar.
Both sides made mistakes in their finishing touches, together with the intense midfield pressure which didn’t allow either side to gain clear control of the ball. Despite this, Tigres had two counterattack attempts that didn’t work out because their finishing was ineffective.
The match had some complicated moments with some rough play that led to an injured Javier Aquino having to leave the field at minute 44, and was replaced by Damián Álvarez to cover the left flank.
Ricardo Ferretti wasn’t prepared to wait long, sending Andy Delort onto the pitch in the second half, sacrificing a defense by taking José Francisco Torres off. This substitution changed the felines’ formation to two center forwards and two wingers, Damián and Sosa.
Tigres became far more aggressive in their attacks, with opportunities immediately generated through André-Pierre Gignac and Delort, who turned into a ‘demon’ along both flanks, constantly interchanging positions.
The felines were pressuring and seeking opportunities up front, but their haste in the last or penultimate touches made them lose balls too easily in the light-blues’ zone. The match gradually underwent an enormous hole in the midfield, which was in constant use by both sides.
The clearest opportunity came from Cruz Azul, through Jorge Benítez, who was unmarked when he received a pass in the box, but sent the ball over Nahuel Guzmán’s goal. There was bad news for Tigres at minute 85 when Guido Pizarro was sent off for a second yellow card.
Despite everything, Tigres continued to insist and had opportunities they were unable to finish, but, in the end, they left the pitch to a round of applause for the intensity shown in the match.
#TigreDato This was draw number 28 in the history of Tigres vs Cruz Azul matches.
Tigres: Nahuel Guzmán; Jesús Dueñas, Hugo Ayala, Juninho and Jorge Torres Nilo; Guido Pizarro, José Torres (Andy Delort 46’), Javier Aquino (Damián Álvarez 44’) and Lucas Zelarayán (Manuel Viniegra 80’); Ismael Sosa and André-Pierre Gignac
Cruz Azul: Jesús Corona; Julio Domínguez, Enzo Roco, Julián Velázquez and Omar Mendoza; Francisco Silva (Rosario Cota 35’), Aldo Ramírez and Christian Giménez; Joao Rojas (Jesús García 88’), Rafael Bacca and Joffre Guerrón (Jorge Benítez 65’)
Referee: Jorge Antonio Pérez Durán
Tigres: Guido Pizarro (64’ and 85’), Ismael Sosa (66’), Jorge Torres Nilo (78’)
Cruz Azul: Rafael Bacca (58’), Joffre Guerrón (63’)
Guido Pizarro (85’) for double yellow and Hugo Ayala at the end of the match for an on-field argument.