Season Starts with a Stunner: 4-2!
SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA, July 20th.- With a practically perfect first half, UANL Tigres started the Liga MX Apertura 2019 tournament with a 4-2 win over Morelia Monarcas.
Nahuel Guzmán reached 100 consecutive Liga/Playoff matches with Tigres, while André-Pierre Gignac kept his goal tally at 104, leaving the chance to break the record for another match, perhaps in Salt Lake City.
Javier Aquino, with two, Rafael de Souza and Luis Rodríguez scored the goals, in an evening in which Luis Quiñones gave an extraordinary performance before an injury forced him off the pitch.
The match got off to a somewhat slow start, but our team gradually began to take control with rapid overlapping on the right, particularly by Luis Quiñones who surged forwards as often as he liked.
Nevertheless, at minute 14, Rafael de Souza generated the first chance with a shot that missed to the right.
Two minutes afterwards, André-Pierre Gignac came very close to breaking Tomás Boy’s record, but the French player, in front of an empty net, sent the ball high and the opportunity was lost.
However, Tigres started to put the pressure on up front and, at minute 19, Luis Rodríguez, in a sensational play, eluded two opponents to fire off a left-footed shot into the upper left corner of the net. This superb goal made it 1-0.
Soon after, at the 28th minute, Luis Quiñones’ control of the right-hand side began to be reflected in the score, when he powered into the box and crossed to Rafael de Souza, who put the ball into the bottom of the net past the left post. Tigres were ahead 2-0.
The incomparable fans were ecstatic in the stands, while, on the pitch, our team continued to dominate in possession, scoring the third at 34’ when Quiñones yet again broke away down the right and crossed to the near post, where Javier Aquino headed the ball in.
The stadium-wide frenzy grew even more when, in stoppage time, the referee reviewed a play that appeared to give Tigres a penalty kick, but the decision went against them.
In the second half, Morelia was determined not to concede any more goals and to attack, which was reflected at 46’, when Luis Mendoza, who had only just come on as a substitute, scored to make it 3-1.
Three minutes later, Lucas Zelarayán had a shot with an individual play, but was obstructed by a foul just outside the box. Then, at 50’, an attempt by the opponent missed to the right of the net defended by Nahuel.
At 57’, Chaka Rodríguez passed to Gignac, whose shot went into the goalkeeper’s hands. Just four minutes afterwards, Nahuel heroically saved an attempt by Sansores, defeating him one-on-one and denying him a goal.
Gignac came close again at 67’, with a header inside the box that the Michoacán keeper managed to intercept.
Later, our team’s persistence led Enner Valencia to break into the center of the box, but just as he was about to shoot the referee adjudicated offside, denying him this opportunity.
Gignac had the same chance at 75’, penetrating the box unmarked and losing the one-on-one, though just after the referee had signaled offside.
Morelia wasn’t ready to surrender and, at 88’, narrowed the gap to 3-2, after Mendoza capitalized on a loose ball in the midfield, advanced and crossed into the box, where Gastón Lezcano scored with a header.
But Tigres had even more to give. Just as the opponent seemed to be gaining steam, Javier Aquino appeared at 94’ to score a superb goal, bringing the final score to 4-2.
TIGRES: 1 Nahuel Guzmán; 3 Carlos Salcedo, 4 Hugo Ayala, 5 Rafael de Souza, 8 Lucas Zelarayán (6 Jorge Torres Nilo 91), 10 André-Pierre Gignac, 19 Guido Pizarro, 20 Javier Aquino, 23 Luis Quiñones (13 Enner Valencia 36’), 27 Jair Díaz (29 Jesús Dueñas 67’) and 28 Luis Rodríguez.
MGR.: RICARDO FERRETTI
MORELIA: 13 Carlos Sosa; 2 Efraín Velarde, 6 Sebastián Vegas, 8 Mario Osuna, 10 Edison Flores (15 Cándido Ramírez 72’), 20 Rodrigo Millar (9 Fernando Aristeguieta 46’), 23 José Martínez, 24 Gabriel Achiller, 26 Aldo Rocha, 27 Miguel Sansores (21 Luis Mendoza 46’) and 31 Gastón Lezcano.
MGR.: JAVIER TORRENTE
1-0 (19’) Luis Rodríguez creates the space and scores with a left-footed shot into the upper left corner.
2-0 (28’) Luis Quiñones breaks in from the right and passes to Rafael de Souza, who puts the ball in the net.
3-0 (34’) Luis Quiñones crosses to Javier Aquino who heads the ball into the back of the net.
3-1 (46’) Luis Mendoza finishes in the center of the box, defeating Nahuel Guzmán.
3-2 (88’) Gastón Lezcano with a header inside the box with Nahuel off the line.
4-2 (94’) Javier Aquino finds a space and scores with a shot from left side of the box.
TIGRES: Luis Rodríguez (66’)
REFEREE: Roberto García Orozco
ASSISTANT REFEREE No. 1: José Alfredo López
ASSISTANT REFEREE No. 2: José de Jesús Baños
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Juan Andrés Esquivel