Tigres UANL and Pumas UNAM played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg of this all-Liga-MX CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series. Both teams created numerous chances, but turning them into goals was a sticking point.
Tigres had the first chance of the game through André-Pierre Gignac, before Pumas tried their luck with a pair of shots from Matías Britos. It wasn’t until the 40th minute, though, that Tigres found the breakthrough.
Eduardo Vargas sent a shot from outside the box into the upper netting, leaving goalkeeper Alfredo Saldívar with no chance to intervene, and giving Tigres the 0-1 lead just before halftime.
Pumas came out in the second half determined to find a tying goal, and they found one in the 61st minute. Substitute Nicolás Castillo sent the ball to Matías Britos, who headed it home to make it 1-1.
Castillo nearly completed the comeback when he got his foot to a cross from Jesús Gallardo, but his attempt ended up hitting the crossbar.
Tigres then had a chance to retake the lead late on when Luis Quiñones took the ball towards the endline before cutting it back into the box. The ball deflected off Darío Verón and was goal-bound, but Erik Vera was able to clear it away.
With the 1-1 draw, next week’s second leg will be a winner-takes-all affair. Should the two draw again, a 0-0 result would advance Pumas on away goals; another 1-1 would send the game to extra time; and a draw with two or more goals would advance Tigres on away goals.
Tigres: Aarón Fernández, Luis Advíncula (Lucas Zelarayán 67′), Hugo Ayala, Juninho, Jorge Torres Nilo (Ismael Sosa 72′), Guido Pizarro, Jesús Dueñas, Jürgen Damm, Eduardo Vargas, Damián Álvarez (Luis Quiñones 69′), André-Pierre Gignac.
Pumas: Alfredo Saldívar, Josécarlos van Rankin, Gerardo Alcoba, Pablo Jáquez (Darío Verón 75′), Alan Mendoza (Nicolás Castillo 60′), Pablo Barrera, Javier Cortés, Abraham González, Jesús Gallardo, Bryan Rabello, Matías Britos (Erik Vera 79′).