SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Saturday, February 4, 2017.- Tigres dominated the match, was the better side across the 90 minutes, generated more opportunities, but couldn’t secure the longed-for prize of a victory. On the contrary, the 0-1 home defeat with Toluca leaves the team with just four points.
The felines’ next opportunity to get back on the path of triumph will be against Pachuca.
Tigres started with the same team as against the Chiapas Jaguares, with a double defense comprised of Guido Pizarro and Lucas Zelarayán, accompanied on the wing by Jürgen Damm and Javier Aquino, leaving André-Pierre Gignac and Ismael Sosa up front.
At the back, Jesús Dueñas remained on the right flank and Enrique Palos in the goal, reflecting the felines’ aim to get the edge from the start of the match.
Both teams spent the first few minutes sizing each other up, so, during the first quarter of the match, there weren’t any clear goal opportunities, just a few hints of attack on the felines, with long-range passes that tried to defeat the defense’s back.
At minute 14, Palos, the starting goalie, was forced to leave the field due to injury and was replaced by Aarón Fernández, who made his debut in the First Division.
Minute 30 saw the first shot at goal of the match when Gignac tried to take advantage of a through ball initiated by Aquino, but the assistant referee signaled for offside.
Tigres tried to take possession of the ball, keep it in constant circulation and overcome Toluca’s defense, but was unable to finish plays, although at minute 34 there was a shot by Jorge Torres Nilo that went wide.
Towards the end of the first half, the universitarios gradually gained ball control and, at minute 41, in a one-two play with Gignac, Zelarayán’s powerful shot from outside the box went wide. The first 45 minutes came to an end with Tigres looking closer to a goal.
Gignac’s hallmark highlighted the start of the second half as he made it quite clear that he wanted his first goal of the season, with a shot from outside the area that went over Talavera’s goal.
The felines gradually began taking control of the match, and, at 53’, Jürgen Damm’s cross into the zone was received by ‘Chuco’ Sosa, whose header forced the goalkeeper Talavera stretch as far as possible to save the ball from going into the corner of the net, just when the fans were about to celebrate the first goal.
Bit by bit, Tigres was working the game. Damm was daring with his typical breakaways, gaining an advantage, and Aquino’s participation grew, with most of the balls being sent to Sosa.
Yet again, just when Tigres were playing so well, Rubens Sambueza scored a goal for Toluca from a free kick. At this point, Ricardo Ferretti sent the Chilean Eduardo Vargas onto the pitch to replace Jesús Dueñas.
With this adjustment, ‘Tuca’ changed to a line of three at the back, leaving Torres Nilo, Juninho and Ayala in this zone, placing Vargas as a nine-and-a-half, behind Gignac and Sosa. This left Aquino and Damm as two wingers along the flanks.
The manager decided to implement another substitution, taking Aquino off to send Damián to cover the left side and galvanize the team to find the draw.
At 91’, Gignac came so close to a goal with a bicycle kick that spectacularly hit the post, but none of the strikers were able to catch it on the rebound. At 94’, he had another chance with a header that barely skimmed over Talavera’s crossbar.
The match ended with a home defeat that means Tigres remain on four points.
Ricardo Ferretti’s 150th victory with Tigres will have to wait, and hopefully can be celebrated in the next fixture at Pachuca.
0-1 (72’) Goal by Rubens Sambueza from a free kick
Tigres: Enrique Palos (Aarón Fernández 14’); Jesús Dueñas (Eduardo Vargas 73’), Hugo Ayala, Juninho and Jorge Torres Nilo; Guido Pizarro, Lucas Zelarayán, Jürgen Damm and Javier Aquino (Damián Álvarez 85’); Ismael Sosa and André-Pierre Gignac
Toluca: Alfredo Talavera; Paulo da Silva (Jordan Silva 87), Osvaldo González, Rodrigo Salinas and Efraín Velarde; Antonio Ríos, Pablo Barrientos, Rubens Sambueza and Jesús Méndez (Erbin Trejo 68’); Gabriel Hauche (Carlos Esquivel 76’) and Enrique Triveiro
Referee: Jorge Antonio Pérez Durán
Tigres: Hugo Ayala (29’), Guido Pizarro (74’)
Toluca: Rubens Sambueza (26’), Efraín Velarde (48’), Enrique Triverio (79’), Alfredo Talavera (94’)
Enrique Triveiro for kicking Lucas Zelarayán from behind.