Another Legend Emerges to Give Us the Advantage in the Final: 1-0!
SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA, May 23rd.- As the Mexican proverb says, ‘he who strikes first, strikes twice’, and tonight the UANL Tigres and André-Pierre Gignac will be taking a 1-0 advantage to the second leg of the Clausura 2019 Final.
The Frenchman scored at the 21st minute to equal the record of legendary Tomás Boy, reaching 104 goals with Tigres, while, from the heavens, Carlos Miloc, Osvaldo Batocletti and Don Roberto Hernández Junior supported the Tigre Nation.
Our side came out seeking ball possession and to make the most of their home advantage, with ball control, overlap runs and penetrating the opponent’s box, while the visitors prioritized counterattacks.
Eduardo Vargas had the first chance of the match, with a shot in the eighth minute that went wide of the right post.
Later, at 18’, Luis Quiñones broke in from the right and crossed, but no one was there to receive. Nevertheless, Tigres was displaying their idea and objective of opening the scoring as soon as possible.
And this is exactly what they did at minute 21, when Quiñones crossed to the center of the box, where French footballer André-Pierre Gignac finished, driving the Universitario Stadium into a frenzy and, at the same time, drawing level with Tomás Boy as the top goal scorer in the history of Tigres, with 104 goals.
Hopes for the seventh were building up, while, from the heavens, Osvaldo Batocletti, Carlos Miloc and even Don Roberto Hernández Junior looked down upon the 41,618 spectators in our packed Stadium that brightly gleamed with the color yellow.
It was a Final so, of course, Nahuel Guzmán soon made an appearance, at 26’, when he anticipated an opponent, intervened and blocked what could have been the equalizer. Then again, at 32’, he intercepted a shot to keep a clean sheet for his net.
Luck was on our side, as could be seen at 42’, when Fernando Navarro tried to clear a ball in the box and nearly put it in the net, but the left post saved León from being down by two.
Immediately after the break, one team played the leading role, as Tigres pressed forward and attacked, persistently seeking Rodolfo Cotta’s goal.
At 50’, Quiñones crossed again from the right, finding Gignac, whose header was too high.
Afterwards, Patón checked the opponent’s counterattack and Vargas responded from outside the penalty area with a shot that was blocked by the defense.
At that point, Tuca decided to make a substitution, replacing Chilean Vargas with Enner Valencia, who has been called up to Ecuador’s national team, and in his first two interventions, he came close, but didn’t rattle the opponent too much.
Soon after, Gignac tried to capitalize on a mistake by the defense, breaking into the box closely marked and attempting to cut back, but his shot slammed into a defender, silencing the celebrations in the stands.
Then, because of an injury, Tuca had to send Jürgen Damm on to replace Javier Aquino, who had received a hard blow to his right leg.
Tigres persevered with overlap runs along the flanks, but the opponent was beginning to position themselves better and close spaces, making it difficult for our side to get in for the second.
Ángel Mena posed a threat to Nahuel’s goal with a powerful shot that Patón cleared out for a corner. Chino Zelarayán then replaced Quiñones, seeking to recover our midfield, which we no longer controlled.
Even towards the end of the match, Valencia had a chance with a pass in the box from Zelarayán and then it was Gignac who came very close.
TIGRES: 1 Nahuel Guzmán; 4 Hugo Ayala, 5 Rafael de Souza, 6 Jorge Torres Nilo, 9 Eduardo Vargas (13 Enner Valencia 59’), 10 André-Pierre Gignac, 19 Guido Pizarro, 20 Javier Aquino, 21 Francisco Meza, 26 Luis Quiñones and 28 Luis Rodríguez.
MGR.: RICARDO FERRETTI
LEÓN: 30 Rodolfo Cota; 4 Felipe Mosquera, 5 Fernando Navarro, 6 William Tesillo, 8 Joel Campbell, 10 Luis Montes, 12 José Rodríguez, 13 Ángel Mena, 16 David Meneses (11 Yairo Moreno 77’), 23 Ramiro González and 33 César Angulo.
MGR.: IGNACIO AMBRIZ
0-1 (21’) Luis Quiñones breaks in from the right, crosses and André-Pierre Gignac finishes.
TIGRES: Francisco Meza (70’), Luis Quiñones (83’), Guido Pizarro (92’)
LEÓN: William Tesillo (24’), Joel Campbell (87’), Fernando Navarro (90’)
REFEREE: Marco A. Ortiz
ASSISTANT REFEREE No. 1: Alberto Morín
ASSISTANT REFEREE No. 2: Enrique I. Bustos
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Jorge A. Pérez