Tigres UANL took advantage of Veracruz’s protest to take an early lead and win the game 1-3. The result extends the Tiburones Rojos’ record-setting winless streak to 40 games, while the universitarios have now won three in a row.
To protest against unpaid salaries, Veracruz players simply stood or knelt quietly on the field after the initial whistle, while the substitutes lined up along the sideline. They did not attempt to play the ball or interfere when Tigres had possession. The ball was initially played back to Sebastián Jurado, who kicked it away after a minute and a half when André-Pierre Gignac approached to pressure him. Tigres took advantage as soon as the ball was “in play”, with Eduardo Vargas scoring with a long-range shot seconds later – while the Veracruz players still remained frozen on the field.
That was followed by André-Pierre Gignac also scoring with an unopposed shot from outside the box at 3:11.
Those goals drew disapproval from around the Liga MX community. Veracruz captain Carlos Salcido said in a post-game press conference that Tigres had known about the planned protest, which was slated to last for the first three minutes of the game, and several players (and quite a lot of fans) took to Twitter during and afer the game to lament the lack of support Tigres gave to the protest.
Oribe Peralta wrote “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
Alexis Vegas said, “Sometimes we fall, but SOLIDARITY, BROTHERHOOD, and MUTUAL SUPPORT, will lift us up”.
Jesús Molina tweeted the hashtag #JuntosSomosMasFuertes (Together we are stronger) while Andrés Iniestra used the hashtag started by Veracruz players, #HoyPorMiMananaPorTi (Today for me, tomorrow for you).
Even once Veracruz began to play, the third goal arrived quickly, with Vargas getting into the box and making it 0-3 for Tigres in the 6th minute.
Jesús Dueñas was red-carded in the 26th minute after VAR review of a stomp on Daniel Villalva, but Veracruz struggled to get back into the game even with a numerical advantage.
They were able to score a consolation goal in the 90th minute, with Colin Kazim-Richards making it 1-3 with his finish at the back post.
With the 1-3 win, Tigres reach 23 points while Veracruz still has four.