Tigres Eliminated from Playoffs
MEXICO CITY, December 2nd.- Aerial play once more became an issue for the UANL Tigres, resulting in their elimination from the Apertura 2018 Playoffs, with a 3-1 loss (4-3 aggregate) against the UNAM Pumas.
All the goals were scored in the second half, after our team played an excellent first half.
In the first 45 minutes, Ricardo Ferretti’s men displayed ball control, with fieldwide rotation and the creation of more goal opportunities than the opponent, who didn’t seem to be in a hurry.
Just three minutes into the match, Eduardo Vargas escaped along the right flank, penetrating the box to shoot with a cross that forced goalkeeper Saldívar to stretch and punch the ball out.
Afterwards, at 12’, Javier Aquino finds a loose ball, but his soft shot missed to the left.
At 21’, André-Pierre Gignac´s attempt went high, in a breakaway led by Aquino from his own area.
Just three minutes went by for Nahuel Guzmán to be called a hero, defeating Víctor Malcorra one on one, to the disappointment of the Olímpico Universitario stadium, that was not filled to capacity.
Luis “Chaka” Rodríguez had a chance with a mid-range shot, following a set-piece situation at minute 29.
Three minutes later, having stolen a ball in the midfield, Gignac broke away with an advantage, entered the box, but his attempt went wide of the left post, upsetting the Frenchman.
A minute afterwards, Eduardo Vargas missed a clear goal opportunity, when Chaka Rodríguez came in from the right, trod in the line and crossed to the Chilean, whose shot was too high.
At 39’, Juninho came close with a direct free kick, but missed to the left by just a couple of centimeters.
The opponent came out in the second half with greater determination, aware that time was on Tigres’ side, passing as much as possible into the box in search of any situations.
As a result, at minute 53, Carlos González headed the ball into the net inside the far post, defeating Nahuel and making it 1-0 (2-2 aggregate).
Tigres, knowing that this goal forced them to go for another one, equalized at 54’ bringing the aggregate to 3-2, when Rafael de Souza controlled outside the box and his shot hit the crossbar, then the goalkeeper’s back and, finally, the back of the net.
Our team seemed to be back in the game, but five minutes later, once more in an aerial play, Felipe Mora came forward with a header to regain his side’s advantage with the score now at 2-1 (3-3 aggregate).
Nevertheless, there was still time for our players, since one more goal would force Pumas to score two, resulting in Jürgen Damm, then Enner Valencia and finally Ismael Sosa, being sent on with the clear idea of achieving this.
At minute 66, Vargas’ header inside the box went wide of the right post, missing this opportunity.
Then, at 79’, the Chilean controlled with his chest inside the goal area, made a half-turn, but the attempt was too high. Tigres was putting the pressure on, while Pumas was waiting for any slip-up or breakaway.
And, precisely in this way, Matías Alustiza made it 3-1, when González broke away, shook off Nahuel and crossed, and Alustiza pushed in the third, sounding the death knell for our Tigres.
The team sought to react towards the end, since just one goal be sufficient to stay alive, but none of the attempts by Valencia, Aquino or Gignac received their reward.
UNAM: Alfredo Saldívar; Alan Mozo, Alejandro Arribas, Luis Quintana, David Cabrera (Matías Alustiza 58’), Pablo Barrera, Felipe Mora (Alan Mendoza 65’), Víctor Malcorra, Andrés Iniestra, Martín Rodríguez (Kevin Escamilla 84’) and Carlos González.
MGR.: DAVID PATIÑO
TIGRES: Nahuel Guzmán; Luis Rodríguez (Enner Valencia 75’), Juninho (Jürgen Damm 73’), Hugo Ayala, Francisco Meza, Jesús Dueñas, Rafael de Souza, Guido Pizarro, Javier Aquino, Eduardo Vargas (Ismael Sosa 84’) and André-Pierre Gignac.
MGR.: RICARDO FERRETTI
1-0 (53’) Header by Carlos González to the far post.
1-1 (54’) Mid-range shot by Rafael de Souza that hits the crossbar and the goalkeeper.
2-1 (59’) Header inside the box by Felipe Mora.
3-1 (90’) Matías Alustiza finishes inside the box, pushing the ball in.
UNAM: Alan Mozo (28’) and Víctor Malcorra (84’)
TIGRES: Eduardo Vargas (24’) and Javier Aquino (74’)
Referee: Fernando Guerrero Ramírez