A courageous victory for Tigres: 3-2!

                SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA, January 27.- In an end-to-end match, the UANL Tigres became strong contenders for the top spots in the 2018 Clausura Tournament, having defeated the Pachuca Tuzos 3-2.

The victory left Luis “Chaka” Rodríguez without the chance to play next week against Pumas, after being shown two yellow cards and sent off.


                FIRST HALF

                Tigres displayed their strength at the start of the first 45 minutes, while Tuzos practically began with a yellow card, when Jorge Hernández was booked just two minutes into the match.

                At minute six, Eduardo Vargas had the first opportunity when he shook off his marker, though his shot went just high of the crossbar.

                Our team’s recovery was outstanding, fast and in a promising zone for building an attack. At 11’, it was Jesús Dueñas’ turn to send the ball over the goal.

                Afterwards, at 15’, André-Pierre Gignac appeared on the edge of the box, made his way through only for goalkeeper Blanco to save his attempt, conceding a corner. Tigres was already showing how dangerous they can be in front of their opponent’s goal.

                Five minutes later, netkeeper Blanco was beginning to become the Tuzos’ best player, stealing a goal from Dueñas at 20’ with a one-handed deflection.

                Chilean player Vargas attempted once more with a half turn and a shot that went wide of the left post, just centimeters from coming into contact with the net. Nevertheless, at 35’, Vargas, on his own in the box, finished with a backheel, bringing the score to 1­-0.

                The jubilation of the Incomparable Ones (the fans) was complete with the goal by Vargas and their side ahead in the scoring, a lead that grew at minute 41, when Ismael Sosa crossed from the right to the near post, where Javier Aquino tapped the ball in to make it 2-0.


                SECOND HALF

                Tigres slowed their pace in the second half, while Tuzos went all out for everything they could find.

                In fact, barely at 47’, a cross by Angelo Sagal inside the right post reduced the goal difference to 2-1.

                Tigres began to regain their first-half style, and, at minute 52, Javier Aquino’s attempt was saved by the goalkeeper in two moves. Gignac also had an opportunity that went wide of the right post, at 62’.

                Vargas almost scored the third at minute 76, assisted by Jürgen Damm, who had come on as a substitute, but he was unable to finish. Then, at 80’, Honda took advantage of a moment of inattention by the defense to close a cross from the right and score the equalizer.

                This lifted the Tuzos’ spirits, until, at minute 84, Gignac put a stop to their celebrations, by shooting in the box off an assist by Torres Nilo and putting the ball into the net close to the right post, bringing the score to 3-2 and the fans to their feet in the stands.

                At minute 89, Luis Rodríguez was shown the red card, making the rest of the match complicated for the hosts, since in the last five minutes of injury time, the visitors were clearly the stronger side.

                Pachuca tried over and over again, but Tigres’ defense and Nahuel Guzmán steadfastly resisted Tuzos’ attack.  

                Tigres came away with three points, giving them a total of seven, making them strong contenders for the top places in the general table.



                TIGRES: Nahuel Guzmán; Juninho, Hugo Ayala, Rafael de Souza, Francisco Meza (Jorge Torres Nilo 67’), Eduardo Vargas (Lucas Zelarayan 87’), Ismael Sosa (Jürgen Damm 64’), André-Pierre Gignac, Javier Aquino, Luis Rodríguez and Jesús Dueñas.

                PACHUCA: Alfonso Blanco; Honda Keisuka, Víctor Guzmán (Erick Gutiérrez 61’), Nicolás Sagal, Emmanuel García, Erick Aguirre (Walter González 87’), Jorge Hernández, José Martínez, Oscar Murillo, Robert Herrera and Franco Jara (Sebastián Palacios 71’).



1-0   (35’) A cross by Ismael Sosa from the right finds Eduardo Vargas who backheels the ball into the back of the net.

2-0   (41’) Another cross by Ismael Sosa to the near post is finished by Javier Aquino, who taps the ball in to score.

2-1   (47’) Ángel Sagal scores from inside the box close to the right post.

2-2   (80’) Honda Keisuka scores off a cross from the right.

3-2   (84’) Jorge Torres Nilo’s cross from the left finds André-Pierre Gignac, who taps the ball in to score.


                YELLOW CARDS

                TIGRES: Luis Rodríguez (43’), Francisco Meza (43’), André-Pierre Gignac (70’)

                PACHUCA: Jorge Hernández (2’), Emmanuel García (70’), Sebastián Palacios (87’)


                RED CARDS

                TIGRES: Luis Rodríguez (89’)

                PACHUCA: None


               REFEREE: Oscar Mejía

                ASSISTANT REFEREE No. 1: Christian Kiabek

                ASSISTANT REFEREE No. 2: Juan Carlos Salinas

                FOURTH OFFICIAL: Miguel Ángel Flores