Tigres UANL booked their spot in the Apertura 2016 Gran Final with a 2-1 (3-1 aggregate) win over León. The victory was not without a bit of controversy after a few close calls went against León, but the universitarios will not be bothered by that one bit.
After falling 0-1 in the first leg, León came out needing to win here. La Fiera soon tied the aggregate, with a shot from outside the box by Luis Montes making it 0-1 (1-1) in the 16th minute.
But Tigres found a response just before halftime. Deep in stoppage time – past the minimum shown by the fourth official – André-Pierre Gignac just about beat the offside trap and made it 1-1 on the night (2-1 aggregate).
That goal didn’t really change anything for León; they had always needed to score at least twice, and a 1-2 result would have seen them through just as well as a 0-2 one.
The visitors came out pressing after halftime, and they had the ball in the back of the net in the 61st minute. However, the would-be goal was disallowed as it was ruled the ball had gone out of play in the buildup.
León continued to press while Tigres sat back to defend. Then, in the 77th minute, UANL put the game to bed with an impressive goal from substitute Lucas Zelarayán. Just minutes after entering the game, Zelarayán made it 2-1 (3-1) on the counterattack to put a serious dent in León’s hopes of mounting a comeback.
But they continued to throw numbers forward until the final whistle and they had one or two good chances to reduce the deficit; however, Tigres’ defense stood firm and León couldn’t find another breakthrough.
With the 2-1 (3-1 aggregate) win, Tigres advance to the final while León is eliminated.
Tigres: Nahuel Guzmán, Juninho, Hugo Ayala, Jorge Torres Nilo, Jorge Estrada (José Rivas 87′), Guido Pizarro, Javier Aquino (José Francisco Torres 92′), Jürgen Damm, Jesús Dueñas, André-Pierre Gignac, Ismael Sosa (Lucas Zelarayán 70′).
León: William Yarbrough, Efraín Velarde, Guillermo Burdisso, Diego Novaretti, Fernando Navarro (Carlos Guzmán 82′), Hernán Darío Burbano (Juan Ignacio González 74′), Luis Montes, Maximiliano Moralez, Leonel López (Elías Hernández 65′), Christian Valdez, Mauro Boselli.