Tigres UANL twice took the lead and twice lost it as they drew 2-2 with Pumas UNAM in the first leg of their quarterfinal series. Nevertheless, Tigres will be the happier team as their away goals mean they’re taking a slight advantage into the second leg.
The scoring started early in this one. Good combination play led to André-Pierre Gignac finding Ismael Sosa in the box, and Sosa scored against his former team to make it 0-1.
Tigres nearly made it 0-2 in the 20th minute, when Javier Aquino sent in a cross to the far post for Gignac, but Darío Verón was there to make the clearance.
Pumas kept pressing forward as they looked to get back on level terms, and in the 34th minute Pablo Barrera’s shot was deflected by Juninho’s hand. The referee pointed to the penalty spot and Barrera himself took it and converted it to make it 1-1.
Gignac had a good chance to restore Tigres’ lead before halftime, but although he got around “Pikolín”, his touch was too hard and the ball ran out of bounds with the open goal gaping.
It took Tigres just three minutes to retake the lead after halftime, however, with Jürgen Damm scoring a golazo in the 48th minute to make it 1-2.
Pumas again pressed forward in search of an equalizer, and they found it in the 66th minute. Barrera sent in a low cross that went through the entire Tigres defense before reaching Fidel Martínez, who knocked it home.
After the equalizer, the balance of the game favored the hosts, but Pumas couldn’t complete the comeback against a Tigres team that was running out of gas.
The 2-2 draw means that Saturday’s second leg will be winner-takes-all; should the two teams draw again, a 0-0 or 1-1 result would favor Tigres due to the away goals tiebreaker and another 2-2 draw would advance Tigres as the higher seed; a 3-3 draw or higher would put the away goals in Pumas’ favor.
Pumas: Alejandro Palacios, Josécarlos van Rankin, Gerardo Alcoba, Darío Verón, Luis Fernando Fuentes, Pablo Barrera, Kevin Escamilla, Abraham González, Jesús Gallardo, Matías Britos, Fidel Martínez (Santiago Palacios 87′).
Tigres: Nahuel Guzmán, Alberto Acosta (Jorge Estrada 82′), Hugo Ayala, Juninho, Jorge Torres Nilo, Jürgen Damm, Jesús Dueñas, Javier Aquino (José Rivas 88′), Ismael Sosa (José Francisco Torres 72′), André-Pierre Gignac.