We’re in the Semifinal!
SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA, May 11th.- Struggling, if you like, but the UANL Tigres, having drawn 1-1 (2-2 on aggregate) against the Pachuca Tuzos, are in the Clausura 2019 Semifinal as a result of being the higher seeded side on the general table.
André-Pierre Gignac, who is now just one goal away from Tomás Boy’s record, equalized 1-1 with a header inside the box, after the Tuzos had unexpectedly taken the lead at minute 80 with a goal by Sagal.
The first half lacked intensity, although our team dominated in possession and overlapping initiative, against an opponent that oddly enough didn’t seem to be in a hurry to reach Nahuel Guzmán’s goal.
At minute 11, Enner Valencia created our team’s first opportunity, with a header inside the box following a corner, but the ball went high.
Soon after, at minute 14, André-Pierre Gignac received on his left and immediately aimed to put the ball into the upper-left corner, but it went over the crossbar instead.
Tigres was putting the pressure on and it looked as though it would only be a matter of time and patience, but the rival began to close off spaces, frustrating Ricardo Ferretti’s men.
At 17’, Chaka Rodríguez’s mid-distance shot went high over the goal. Pachuca responded at 23’, with a shot by Erick Aguirre that forced Nahuel to concede a corner.
Afterwards, the competition became fierce, especially in the midfield, where neither side was able to gain control.
It looked as though the tone of the match would be pretty much the same after the break, but our side began to put the pressure on up front and succeed in recovery.
At minute 51, Enner Valencia pressed forward, broke into the box and managed to cross, but the defense cleared the ball out for a corner. Minutes afterwards, it was Luis Quiñones who came in from the right, shaking off his two marks, but his shot missed to the right.
A few minutes later, at 56, Quiñones broke away and looked as though he would cross, but sent the shot into the keeper’s hands.
Gignac came close at the 59th minute, when he broke away with the ball and cut back to come face to face with the goalkeeper, but his shot went straight into Alfonso Blanco’s hands. Tigres was beginning to look better on the field.
The French player had another chance with a direct free kick at 65’, but his shot was too high.
And, at 69’, he had yet another opportunity with a pass from Valencia into the box, but the keeper managed to block his header.
At that point, Tuca decided to make his first change, taking Luis Quiñones off and sending on Lucas Zelarayán, at minute 70, seeking to increase mobility in the midfield.
At minute 79, Nahuel in two moves controlled a shot by Angel Sagal, who had only just come onto the pitch.
A minute later, the unthinkable happened. Angelo Sagal, from inside the box, scored the goal that eliminated us at that moment from the Playoffs.
But Gignac appeared, at 83’, inside the six-yard box, to defeat goalkeeper Blanco with a header and put us back in the Playoffs. The score was now 1-1 and 2-2 on aggregate.
At minute 88, Tuca decided to make his second substitution, replacing Javier Aquino with Jorge Torres Nilo, seeking to block any possible attack by the opponent.
Then, at 89’, Lucas Zelarayán shook off his mark and crossed, forcing goalkeeper Blanco to make a save and stifle the celebrations in the stands.
TIGRES: 1 Nahuel Guzmán; 3 Carlos Salcedo, 4 Hugo Ayala, 5 Rafael de Souza, 10 André-Pierre Gignac, 13 Enner Valencia, 19 Guido Pizarro, 20 Javier Aquino (6 Jorge Torres Nilo 88’), 26 Luis Quiñones (8 Lucas Zelarayán 70’), 28 Luis Rodríguez and 29 Jesús Dueñas.
MGR.: RICARDO FERRETTI
PACHUCA: 13 Alfonso Blanco; 2 Stiven Barreiro, 5 Víctor Guzmán, 6 Raúl López, 10 Edwin Cardona, 11 José Ulloa (7 Angelo Segal 75’), 12 Emmanuel García (32 Nahuel Bustos 68’), 14 Erick Aguirre, 16 Jorge Hernández, 23 Oscar Murillo and 33 Ismael Sosa.
MGR.: MARTÍN PALERMO
0-1 (80’) Angelo Sagal scores from inside the box, following a corner.
1-1 (83’) André-Pierre Gignac appears inside the six-yard box and heads the ball into the net.
TIGRES: Carlos Salcedo (29’), Jesús Dueñas (36’) and Javier Aquino (66’)
PACHUCA: Emmanuel García (26’), Raúl López (77’) and Edwin Cardona (88’)
REFEREE: Jorge Antonio Pérez
ASSISTANT REFEREE No. 1: Andrés Hernández
ASSISTANT REFEREE No. 2: Telly Salvador Saldívar
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Fernando Hernández