Ready for the Concacaf Final: 3-3!

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA, April 20th.- With an alternative side, saving the big guns for the Concacaf Final, the UANL Tigres came back from behind to tie 3-3 with the Morelia Monarcas.

Manager Ricardo Ferretti, with the Concacaf Final in mind, left his best players on the bench, only sending on star starters Nahuel Guzmán, Luis Rodríguez and André-Pierre Gignac, who was back after recovering from his injury.

 

FIRST HALF

Our team surprised everyone by using an alternative team for this match, which made it hard for them to settle in across the pitch and affected their overlapping and recovery.

However, our side had the first opportunity at minute six, when Luis Rodríguez’s shot hit the defense. Soon after, at minute 11, Lucas Zelarayán managed a through ball to Jürgen Damm, but it fell short.

Two  minutes later, Chino controlled with his chest and shot, but the ball went over the crossbar. It looked as though we would soon be well in our stride in our attack.

However, at minute 19, the defense’s disarray allowed Miguel Sansores to force his way into the box and score, putting the opponent ahead 1-0, after confirmation by VAR, in a troubling start to the evening .

Tigres reacted at 22’, with a header by André-Pierre Gignac that was intercepted by the Michoacán keeper.

At 28’ Gignac created another opportunity, but his attempt from inside the box was saved by Monarcas’ keeper.

However, the opponent’s luck was better than its football and a long pass again found Sansores, who toe poked the ball in as Nahuel came off his line, making it 2-0 and turning the evening into a nightmare in the Universitario.

Two minutes on, Tigres came very close when Eduardo Tercero’s shot rebounded off the post and fell to Gignac, but the counterattack was blocked by the keeper on the line.

At 38’, in a one-two play between  Chaka Rodríguez and Gignac, the Monterrey native managed to shoot, but the defense intervened.

 

SECOND HALF

Our team came out from the break with greater determination to gain possession and increase their attack, in order to make a comeback.

At 48,’ Chaka Rodríguez crossed into the box towards Gignac and Zelarayán, but they were both too far away. Then, at 53’, Chino’s shot from inside the goal area bounced off the defense again.

Gignac played individually at 58’, but his soft shot was easily saved by the Michoacán goalkeeper.

At 63’, Zelarayán’s shot went over the crossbar, too high to score, but a minute afterwards Damm broke away down the left, cutback to Zelarayán to close the gap and make the Universitario Stadium explode with joy.

However, 75 seconds later, Edison Flores slowed our side’s momentum when he brought the score to 3-1, putting the ball in by the near post and defeating Nahuel.

Our side were saved from the opponent’s fourth when Aldo Rocha hoped to take Nahuel Guzmán by surprise, but his attempt hit the bar.

However, it was Monarcas who were taken by surprise when, at the 78th minute, Gignac received inside the goal area, cutback to Chino, whose powerful shot to the left of the keeper brought the score to 3-2, to the delight of the fans in the stands.

Tuca made the match even more exciting by sending on Jesús Dueñas and Eduardo Vargas, to replace Jair Díaz and Israel Jiménez, clearly reflecting the aim of putting the pressure on the opponent.

A minute later, Zelarayán backheeled to an unmarked Eduardo Vargas, whose goal was then confirmed by VAR.

In stoppage time, Damm came close to the fourth, making his way into the box with a long pass, but the goalkeeper denied him the opportunity.

 

LINEUPS

TIGRES: 1 Nahuel Guzmán; 2 Israel Jiménez (29 Jesús Dueñas 81’), 6 Jorge Torres Nilo, 8 Lucas Zelarayán, 10 André-Pierre Gignac, 14 Juan Purata, 16 Damián Torres, 23 Jair Díaz (9 Eduardo Vargas 81’), 25 Jürgen Damm, 28 Luis Rodríguez and 36 Eduardo Tercero (291 José García 46’).

MGR.: RICARDO FERRETTI

MORELIA: 35 Luis Malagón; 2 Efraín Velarde, 6 Sebastián Vegas, 8 Mario Osuna, 14 Edison Flores (25 Roberto Meráz 87’), 15 Cándido Ramírez (286 Andrés Catalán 75’), 20 Rodrigo Millar, 22 Alberto Acosta (31 Gastón Lazcano 70’), 24 Gabriel Achilier, 26 Aldo Rocha and 27 Miguel Sansores.

MGR.: JAVIER TORRENTE

 

GOALS

0-1 (19’) Miguel Sansores forges through to score next to the right-hand post.

0-2 (34’) Miguel Sansores toe pokes the ball in as Nahuel Guzmán comes off his line.

1-2 (63’) Jürgen Damm breaks in from the left and cuts back to Lucas Zelarayán who scores.

1-3 (65’) Edison Flores scores from the left side of the box.

2-3 (78’) André-Pierre Gignac passes to Lucas Zelarayán, who scores with a right-footed shot.

3-3 (82’) Lucas Zelarayán backheels to Eduardo Vargas, who fires the ball past the keeper.

 

YELLOW CARDS

TIGRES: Jair Díaz (24’) and Jesús Dueñas (85’)

MORELIA: Gabriel Achilier (93’).

 

RED CARDS

None

 

REFEREE: Oscar Mejía

ASSISTANT REFEREE No. 1: José Alfredo López

ASSISTANT REFEREE No. 2: Jimmy Acosta

FOURTH OFFICIAL: Sergio Ruvalcaba