Tigres UANL went into the second leg of their Copa Libertadores semifinal series against Internacional trailing the Brazilians 2-1 on aggregate. They overturned that deficit, winning 3-1 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate to claim a berth in the Copa Libertadores final against River Plate.
Tigres UANL becomes just the third Mexican team in history to reach a Copa Libertadores final, after Chivas de Guadalajara in 2010 and Cruz Azul in 2001. No Mexican team has ever won the tournament, and Tigres will have the chance to write themselves into the record books against River Plate.
The universitarios have already made history by reaching the final, and it was two of Tigres’ newest players who put them on the path to victory in tonight’s match. In the 18th minute, Jürgen Damm sent in a cross from the right for André-Pierre Gignac, who opened the scoring with a powerful header.
That goal made it 1-0 on the night and 2-2 on aggregate, but due to the away goal tiebreaker, that would have been all Tigres needed to advance. But the Mexicans, playing in front of a packed house in the Volcán, didn’t stop there.
In the 40th minute, Inter made a fatal mistake, with Geferson scoring an impressive own goal from the top of the box to put Tigres completely in the driver’s seat.
In the second half, Tigres had the chance to make it 3-0 early on after earning a penalty kick in the 50th minute, but Rafael Sobis saw his spot kick saved. However, five minutes after the missed PK, Tigres would make it 3-0, with Egidio Arévalo finishing off a cross from Damm with a diving header.
That was the icing on the cake for Tigres, and it proved to be an important goal as Internacional managed to score a consolation goal through Lisandro López in the 87th minute, making it 3-1 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate.
Tigres will host the first leg of the final against River Plate on July 29th, with the second leg to be played in Argentina on August 5th.
Tigres: Nahuel Guzmán, José Ricas, Juninho, José Francisco Torres, Israel Jiménez, Egidio Arévalo, Guido Pizarro, Javier Aquino (Damián Álvarez 74′), Jürgen Damm (Édgar Gerardo Lugo 83′), Rafael Sobis, André-Pierre Gignac.
Internacional: Alisson Ramses, William Bruno (Rafael Martiniano de Miranda 33′), Ernando Claudio, Juan Silveira, Geferson Cerqueira, Rodrigo Dourado, Charles Aránguiz, Andrés D’Alessandro, Wanderson Ferreira (Alex 59′), Nilmar (Eduardo Sasha 59′), Lisandro López.