We’re in the Concacaf Final!  

TORREÓN, April 10th.- The UANL Tigres are set to play their 11th Final of the  Ricardo Ferretti era, after defeating Santos Laguna 5-3 on aggregate in the second leg of the Semifinal, and are now waiting to see whether their opponent will be Monterrey or Kansas City.

Goals by Enner Valencia and Julián Quiñones put our side 2-0 ahead (5-0 aggregate), but Santos reacted, scoring one goal at the end of the first half and two during the second.

 

FIRST HALF

Our side dominated the first half, generating an opportunity with just nine minutes on the clock, when Enner Valencia broke away down the left, crossed to the center looking for Eduardo Vargas, but the defense intervened.

Two minutes later, the Tigres nation was ecstatic when Valencia broke away along the left, penetrated the box, brought keeper Jonathan Orozco off his line, crossed and scored, making it 1-0, or 4-0 aggregate.

Rafael de Souza created an opportunity at 14’, when he controlled but his shot went wide of the right-hand post.

Marlos Moreno tried to rouse Santos, at 17’, with a shot that missed to the left of the net guarded by Nahuel Guzmán, who just a minute later saved an attempt by the opponent on the line.

Julián Quiñones began to increase his interaction with the ball and, at 20’, came face-to-face with the net, but hit the right post. Tigres was eagerly looking for the second goal.

And Jesús Dueñas made this quite clear when, in a one-two with Valencia, he fired off a shot that missed to the right at the 21st-minute mark.

However, Tigres persisted, and, at minute 34, Vargas sent a long pass to Julián Quiñones, who, in an individual play, penetrated the penalty area and defeated the goalkeeper to make it 2-0 (5-0 aggregate).

Our team was in charge of the match at that point, since, at 36’, Dueñas came close to the third, but goalkeeper Orozco sent the ball out for a corner and, straight afterwards, Julián created another opportunity, but the keeper intervened yet again.

Santos reacted at 40’, when Nahuel intercepted Javier Abella’s attempt to concede a corner and, in the very next play, Julio Furch took advantage of our players’ lack of focus and scored. The 2-1 score gave the opponent hope.

Tigres ended the first half with two attempts. First, Vargas’ shot went high and, second, Enner’s direct free kick was intercepted by Jonathan, conceding a corner.

 

SECOND HALF

Tigres came out for the second half with the clear idea of looking for the third to quash their opponent’s ambitions, with Orozco forced to save a shot by Valencia, at 51’, and the defense to clear Julián’s counterattack.

At 55’, Valencia came close with a shot from inside the box that was blocked first by Orozco and then the post. Santo breather another sigh of relief.

But fate had determined another course for the match since, at 59’, Julio Furch revitalized Santos once more, bringing the score to 2-2 (5-2 aggregate) and complicating  the evening for our team.

At that point, Tuca decided to make his first substitution, replacing Luis Quiñones with Javier Aquino, in order to refresh overlapping on the left.

Torres Nilo then came on to replace Carioca, in an attempt to reinforce the defense, placing Dueñas there and leaving Pechu on the left flank.

Santos was enjoying possession, enthusiasm and motivation, leaving Tigres to up their defensive efforts and look to break away with long-range passes for Valencia.

At 77’, Nahuel dropped a ball in the air, Diego Valdes took advantage and pushed it in to bring the score to 3-2 (5-3 global).

After that, Tigres pulled further back, seeking recovery and greater ball possession, leaving Julián Quiñones and Valencia to break away and create any possible opportunities.

Santos almost scored the fourth in stoppage time, at 94’, with a highly controversial penalty call by the referee. Javier Correa stepped up with the chance to make it 5-4 on aggregate, but missed, hitting the bar.

 

LINEUPS

SANTOS: 1 Jonathan Orozco; 2 Javier Abella, 5 Hugo Nervo, 9 Julio Furch, 10 Diego Valdes, 11 Marlos Moreno (4 Jesús Angulo 50’), 15 Brian Lozano (22 Deiner Quiñones 63’), 17 Gerardo Arteaga, 20 Hugo Rodríguez (8 Carlos Orrantia 74’), 23 Juan Vazquez and 24 Javier Correa.

MGR.: RUBÉN DUARTE

TIGRES: 1 Nahuel Guzmán; 3 Carlos Salcedo, 4 Hugo Ayala, 5 Rafael de Souza (6 Jorge Torres Nilo 73’), 9 Eduardo Vargas (21 Francisco Meza 79’), 13 Enner Valencia, 19 Guido Pizarro, 26 Luis Quiñones (20 Javier Aquino 65’), 28 Luis Rodríguez, 29 Jesús Dueñas and 33 Julián Quiñones.

MGR.: RICARDO FERRETTI

 

GOALS

0-1 (11’) Enner Valencia receives from the left, breaks into the box, draws the goalkeeper off his line and scores.

0-2 (34’) Eduardo Vargas sends a long pass to Julián Quiñones, who, in an individual play, scores.

1-2 (40’) Julio Furch finishes a series of rebounds after a corner kick.

2-2 (59’) Julio Furch capitalizes on a ball in the box and pushes it in.

3-2 (77’) Nahuel loses a ball and Diego Valdez pushes it in.

 

YELLOW CARDS

SANTOS: Diego Valdes (5’), Juan Vazquez (26’), Hugo Nervo (64’), Gerardo Arteaga (71’) and Julio Furch (91’)

TIGRES: Enner Valencia (58’), Francisco Meza (79’), Luis Rodríguez (92’) and Hugo Ayala (93’)

 

RED CARDS

None

 

REFEREE: Marco Ortiz (Mex)

ASSISTANT REFEREE No. 1: Miguel Hernández (Mex)

ASSISTANT REFEREE No. 2: Ibrahim Martínez (Mex)

FOURTH OFFICIAL: Iván Barton (Slv)