Reserves play to give Tigres a draw: 1-1
SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA, July 22.- The UANL Tigres reserves played tonight and, although they didn’t achieve victory, the did manage a draw, finishing 1-1 against Cruz Azul, in the start of the Copa MX.
For this match, manager Ricardo Ferretti used just two members of the first team, Francisco Meza and Jorge Torres Nilo, as well as Ismael Sosa, who was back from an injury, five reserves on the pitch and seven on the bench.
Nevertheless, even though the team didn’t control ball possession, they knew how to resist a rival who arrived with its whole artillery.
The match started more or less as expected in the first few minutes: Cruz Azul with the intention of attacking, strangling the opponent’s breakthroughs, and Tigres seeking to settle in on the pitch.
Seven minutes in, the visitors had their first option when Víctor Zúñiga sent a mid-range shot, controlled by Enrique Palos with two saves, scaring the 37 thousand fans in the stands of an almost jam-packed Universitario Stadium.
At minute 11, following a set-piece situation, our team came knocking on Cruz Azúl’s door, when Alberto Acosta’s shot, in a counterattack, sought the left post, but the goalkeeper’s save sent the ball out for a corner.
Sosa, at minute 17, passed at a distance to Julio Ibarra, but the reserve was too far away and missed the opportunity.
The visitors were gaining ball possession, forcing Tigres to play with long balls, something they are not used to.
Even so, a long ball that targeted Sosa drew cries from the Incomparable Ones (Tigres’ fans), that died out on seeing the Argentinian losing the race to the light-blues’ netkeeper.
Our team started the second half with more initiative, but the Máquina (the Machine, as Cruz Azul is known) maintained its pace, especially when it came to ball recovery.
At minute 46, Sosa controlled a ball from the right, checked out the scenario and sent a precise cross toward Miguel Quintanilla’s head. However, the defense got in the way, cutting of Tigres’ advance.
Later, at 58’, Alberto Acosta broke away along the left in a one-on-one, but was disarmed by the defense in the box, for another missed opportunity.
Tuca then decided to make his first substitutions, taking Quintanilla and Ibarra off, to replace them with Jhory Celaya and Rafael Durán, all four members of Tigres’ reserves.
At 63’, Chaco Giménez attempted a shot from a set piece, but the ball smashed into the wall, conceding a corner.
Tigres had another opportunity at minute 66, when Jhory Celaya received an accurate cross from Damián Torres, but the reserve’s shot went wide of the light-blues’ right post.
Enrique Palos was Tigres’ savior at minute 73, when Víctor Zúñiga broke away from three against two, entered the box and managed a powerful shot that the goalkeeper, also a reserve, deflected, for the defense to stifle any danger.
Later, at 75’, Rafael Durán received up front, crossed to Sosa, who was coming at full speed up the center to shoot as soon as he was inside the box, defeating the light-blues’ goalkeeper. The 1-0 advantage stirred up the Universitario Stadium.
Luis Rodríguez, who played in the Gold Cup with the National Team, could have scored the second when he got past his mark and entered the box, but a bad decision led to a save by the goalkeeper.
Cruz Azul, who kept pressing forward, equalized at 80’, when a directionless ball was found by Felipe Mora whose shot got past Palos.
TIGRES: Enrique Palos; Jorge Torres Nilo, Hugo Ayala, Francisco Meza, Luis Rodríguez, Damián Torres, Francisco Torres (Fernando Mayor 87’), Julio Ibarra (Jhory Celaya 61’), Alberto Acosta, Ismael Sosa and Miguel Quintanilla (Rafael Durán 61’).
CRUZ AZUL: Guillermo Allison; Julio Domínguez, Gabriel Peñalba (Francisco Silva 65’), Felipe Mora, Christian Giménez (Ángel Mena 87’), Gerardo flores, Adrián Aldrete, Edgar Méndez, Rafael Baca, Víctor Zúñiga (Santiago Giménez 87’) and Jordan Silva.
1-0 (75’) Rafael Durán receives in the top quarter of the pitch, controls the ball and crosses to Ismael Sosa, who, at full speed up the center, shoots and scores.
1-1 (80’) Felipe Mora finds a ball in the box, defeating Palos with a half bicycle kick to score.
TIGRES: Jorge Torres Nilo (38’)
CRUZ AZUL: None
REFEREE: Roberto Ríos Jacome
No. 1: Jimmy Acosta Montesino
No. 2: Israel Valenciano Torres
Fourth official: Diego Montaño Robles