Tigres UANL took a commanding lead in this Clásico Regio quarterfinal series with a 4-1 first leg victory against Monterrey. In addition, the Rayados had Aldo de Nigris sent off, which will see him suspended for the second leg.
Playing in front of a packed house in the Volcán, Tigres took the lead in the 20th minute. Hugo González cut out a cross, but he sent the rebound directly to André-Pierre Gignac, who made it 1-0.
The universitarios had the ball in the net again shortly after that, but the would-be goal, a header from a free kick, was ruled offside.
But they then made it 2-0 moments before halftime, when Jesús Dueñas slipped his marker and finished off a cross the Monterrey defense failed to clear to give the hosts a comfortable lead.
Gignac got on the board again in the second half to put the game out of reach and all but seal the series as well. In the 69th minute, the Frenchman headed a cross past González to make it 3-0.
To make matters worse for Monterrey, substitute Aldo de Nigris was sent off in the 83rd minute, just five minutes after entering the game, after a foul on Javier Aquino and an argument with Nahuel Guzmán that nearly sparked a shoving match between the sides.
Nevertheless, César Montes was able to finish off a corner kick in stoppage time to give the Rayados an away goal and a lifeline in the series: 3-1.
But almost immediately, Dueñas restored Tigres’ three-goal buffer with a powerful shot from the edge of the box to make the final score Tigres 4, Monterrey 1.
With the 4-1 win, Tigres will advance to the semifinals with a win, a draw, or a one- or two-goal loss in Saturday’s second leg, while Monterrey needs to win by three to move on. Should Tigres score two or more goals, Monterrey would need to win by four.
Tigres: Nahuel Guzmán, Juninho, Luis Rodríguez (Luis Advíncula 74′), Alberto Acosta (Francisco Meza 68′), Hugo Ayala, Javier Aquino, Guido Pizarro, Ismael Sosa (Jürgen Damm 87′), Lucas Zelarayán, Jesús Dueñas, André-Pierre Gignac.
Monterrey: Hugo González, Luis Fernando Fuentes, Iván Piris, César Montes, José María Basanta, Celso Ortiz (Efraín Juárez 59′), Carlos Sánchez, Jesús Molina, Yimmi Chara (Edwin Cardona 59′), Dorlan Pabón (Aldo de Nigris 78′), Rogelio Funes Mori.