Tigres UANL booked their spot in the Clausura 2019 Gran Final with a 1-0 win against Monterrey in the second leg of this Clásico Regio semifinal series. With the aggregate tied 1-1 and away goals not a factor, the universitarios advanced due to the higher seed tiebreaker.
The onus was on Tigres in this one after Monterrey’s victory in the first leg, and they looked to make their home field advantage count in the partisan atmosphere of El Volcán. The hosts controlled possession for the majority of the first half, although there weren’t too many truly dangerous chances.
The visitors had a good opportunity in the 9th minute through Jesús Gallardo, but Nahuel Guzmán made the save. Then, at the other end, Marcelo Barovero intervened on a Javier Aquino attempt in the 15th minute and then denied Luis Quiñones in the 24th.
As halftime approached, it looked like the game would remain 0-0; then, in the 42nd minute, Tigres took the lead.
In a play that started with a free kick played short, Tigres sent the ball to the far post where Guido Pizarro was there to head it home and make it 1-0 for UANL. The stands erupted, but celebrations on the field were cut short as Pizarro suffered a hard clash of heads with Leonel Vangioni immediately after his header and required several minutes of treatment on the field. He was ultimately subbed out at halftime.
Minutes into the second half, Monterrey, too, was forced into a sub due to injury. Goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero suffered an apparent calf injury while attempting to clear the ball, and had to leave the game in favor of backup Luis Cárdenas in the 54th minute.
Tigres couldn’t take advantage of the substitute keeper, however, and Cárdenas ended up making a number of saves to keep Monterrey in the game. The Rayados had chances at the other end through Dorlan Pabón, Rodolfo Pizarro, and Rogelio Funes Mori, but they couldn’t find an equalizer.
Funes Mori thought he had done so in the 77th minute, but the flag went up and the would-be goal was disallowed for offside.
As time wore on and the game became increasingly stretched, Tigres had several good chances to find a second on the counterattack, but each time they came up just short. In the end, however, one goal was all they needed to guarantee their 12th appearance in the Gran Final.
With the 1-0 win (1-1 aggregate draw), Tigres advance to the final while Monterrey is eliminated.