Tigres Make it to the Leagues Cup Semifinal
SALT LAKE CITY, July 24th.- UANL Tigres advanced to the Leagues Cup Semifinal tonight with a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake.
Eduardo Vargas scored the only goal of the match at the 57th minute, assisted somewhat by a defender who deflected the ball’s trajectory towards his own keeper.
It wasn’t an easy game for our players, since the opponent, seeking to capitalize on its home advantage, enjoyed rapid overlapping on both flanks.
In fact, with just four minutes on the clock, Nahuel Guzmán was forced to intercept a goal opportunity, blocking the U.S. striker’s shot.
Enner Valencia got a look at goal at minute eight, when Jorge Torres Nilo crossed to the center of the box, but the Ecuadorian was stopped by the defense.
At 13’, Valencia leapt inside the box to meet a pass from Luis Rodríguez on the right, but his header went high.
Tigres was beginning to wake up, but, at 17’, they had to make their first substitution to replace an injured Jesús Dueñas with Rafael de Souza.
This changed the strategy slightly, though not the team’s insistence on looking for a goal.
At minute 24, the Incomparable Fans watched as Nahuel caught the ball outside his goal area, a possible foul that could have earned him a red card. However, VAR pronounced offside for the hosts.
Our team came very close at 26’, when, in an individual play, Javier Aquino outsmarted the defense to break into the box, but the goalkeeper saved the shot on the line.
The home side started the second half with even more determination to attack Nahuel’s goal and even put the ball into the net at 50’, but the referee signaled offside for Kreilach, annulling the play.
After that, Ricardo Ferretti’s men sought possession and played across the whole of the pitch.
However, RSL persisted and, at minute 55, smashed the ball into the left post, to the relief of the Tigre nation .
Our goal came just two minutes later, when the Chilean Turboman took control of the ball in the final third of the field and fired off a shot that deflected off a defender to leave the U.S. keeper without a chance.
Now that our team was ahead, they began to pass more, facing a side that was persistent though ineffective in Nahuel’s box.
At 72’, Tuca decided to make the second substitution, replacing Jurguen Damm with Luis Quiñones, whose adeptness livened up the right flank.
Two minutes afterwards, Valencia had a chance when he broke into the box with a through ball, but the Ecuadorian was unable to finish.
In the third substitution, Valencia was replaced by André-Pierre Gignac, who, by his 12th minute on the pitch had managed to create, though not finish, a couple of opportunities.
Towards the end, at 83’, Brooks Lennon was sent off, denying his team the chance to equalize.
The win means that Tigres will be facing AMÉRICA in the Semifinal on August 20th, in Houston, Texas.