Tigres thrash Puebla 5-0 with a hattrick by Valencia

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA, July 22.- With three goals from newcomer Enner Valencia, the UANL Tigres got off to a fantastic start in the Apertura 2017 Tournament, not only beating, but also thrashing Puebla 5-0.
The Ecuadorian couldn’t have had a better debut in his yellow shirt, almost scoring his fourth goal before being substituted.
FIRST HALF
The first few minutes of the match were very close, with Tigres attempting to break out of their zone and Puebla with the idea of maintaining possession as much as possible, as a means to stay out of danger.
At the two-minute mark, opportunity came knocking for Félix Micolta, but an alert Nahuel Guzmán sent the ball out for a corner.
From that moment on, our team took the initiative and found the most options. At 7’, André-Pierre Gignac’s shot went just wide of goalkeeper Villaseñor’s left post; at 11’, Jürgen Damm had an opportunity that just escaped him.
Tigres was leading in their recovery and overlap running, which was rewarded at minute 15 when Eduardo Vargas, despite a foul, passed to Lucas Zelarayan, who controlled the ball and scored with a shot to the top right corner.
With the score in their favor, Ricardo Ferretti’s men began to play a more confident, precise football.
At 23’, reinforcement Enner Valencia appeared in a one-two play with Vargas, leaving the Ecuadorian footballer in the box to send a low cross and bring the score to 2-0. The Universitario Stadium was bursting with joy.
Around minute 28, off a corner, the ball was left in the air, Juninho’s shrewd header made it 3-0, taking the stress out of Tigres’ evening.

SECOND HALF
In the second half, Tigres came out with even more initiative and drive. At 48’, Eduardo Vargas attempted an individual play, but was disarmed in the zone, to end his chance at a goal.
Two minutes later, Gignac assisted Damm from the right and the Mexican international entered the zone looking for Valencia, who was closing in unmarked, but the defense cut off his advance to steal his goal opportunity.
It was a different matter at minute 55, when Valencia took advantage of a rebound from Villaseñor to drive the ball into the net, making it 4-0 for Tigres.
Just three minutes later, Valencia scored his hattrick off a pass from Gignac on the right, making the Incomparable Ones’ (Tigres’ fans) jubilation complete.
At minute 70, Tuca decided to let Israel Jiménez rest, after playing a good match, allowing the reserve Damián Torres to make his first appearance.
Valencia had a chance for his fourth goal of the evening, at minute 76, when he received a long-range pass, controlled the ball and crossed the ball, skimming just past the left post, to the relief of Villaseñor.
Later, Tuca made his last changes, taking Damm off at 76’ and Valencia at 80’, to send on Alberto Acosta and Damián Álvarez, refreshing the team’s attack somewhat.
Tigres sought to gain ball possession in the last few minutes instead of attacking as if to say that 5-0 was a good start to the Apertura 2017.
Just before the final whistle, Pablo Miguez’s foul on Damián Álvarez was bad enough to earn him a red card, clinching a resounding victory for our team.
Even in injury time, Gignac had a chance off a set piece stopped by the goalkeeper with a spectacular save.

LINEUPS
TIGRES: Nahuel Guzmán; Israel Jiménez (Raúl Torres 70’), Juninho, Jorge Torres, Francisco Meza, Lucas Zelarayan, Javier Aquino, Jürgen Damm (Alberto Acosta 77’), Eduardo Vargas, Enner Valencia (Damián Álvarez 80’) and André-Pierre Gignac.
PUEBLA: Fabián Villaseñor; Brayan Angulo, Luis Venegas, Patricio Araujo (Oscar Rojas 46’), Pablo Miguez, Francisco Acuña, Félix Micolta, David Toledo, Álvaro Navarro (Cristian Esparza 53’), José Guerrero and Leonel Aguirre (Pablo Cáceres 60’).

GOALS
1-0        (15’) The Argentinian, Lucas Zelarayan, assisted by Eduardo Vargas just outside the box, sends the ball into the top left-hand corner.
2-0        (23’) A one-two play between Eduardo Vargas and Enner Valencia leaves the Ecuadorian footballer in the box to send a cross into the back of the net.
3-0        (28’) Following a corner, the ball is left adrift in the air until Juninho scores with a header.
4-0        (55’) Enner Valencia takes advantage of a rebound from the goalkeeper to drive the ball into the net.
5-0        (58’) Off a pass from the right by Gignac, Enner Valencia scores the fifth goal.

YELLOW CARDS
TIGRES:
PUEBLA: Luis Venegas (18’), Patricio Araujo (42’), José Guerrero (44’).

RED CARDS
Pablo Miguez, Puebla (89’)

REFEREE: Jorge Antonio Pérez Durán
No. 1: José Santana Martínez