Tigres UANL vs América – Quarterfinal Second Leg Recap & Highlights

América was the only quarterfinalist to overturn a first-leg deficit and advance as they beat Tigres UANL 2-4 on the night and 4-5 on aggregate to move on to the semifinals.

Tigres seemed to have the upper hand going into this one: a 2-1 aggregate lead, two away goals, and their positioning as the higher seed if it came down to that tiebreaker. But América came out attacking and before long they had the series turned on its head.

In the 20th minute, the Águilas won a free kick in a dangerous spot and Federico Viñas headed home the service to give América the lead on the night and tie the aggregate 2-2. That scoreline still favored Tigres due to the away goals tiebreaker, but it brought América within striking distance and boosted their confidence while Tigres was suddenly worried about their advantage slipping away.

Ten minutes later, another set piece proved costly for Tigres as América scored once more. Guido Rodríguez finished off a corner kick to make it 0-2 (2-3) and put the Águilas on the road to the semifinals.

A stunned Tigres side tried to regroup, but they struggled to find their footing and weren’t helped by the forced substitution of Hugo Ayala due to injury. His replacement, Carlos Salcedo, lost the ball to Henry Martín in the waning moments of the half, and Martín sent the ball in for Giovani dos Santos, who made it 0-3 (2-4) in the 45th minute.

América now had the away goal tiebreaker on their side, meaning Tigres would need to score three of their own in the second half to wrest back control of the series.

The universitarios started the second half with intensity, and in the 56th minute they got their reward. André-Pierre Gignac tried a backheel, which was blocked, but the ball fell to Javier Aquino, who made no mistake at the back post to reduce the deficit to 1-3 (3-4).

Then, in the 71st, Gignac finished off a cross from Enner Valencia to make it 2-3, tying the aggregate at 4-4, and filling the packed crowd in El Volcán with the hope of a comeback.

But América kept pressing forward, too, and they looked dangerous in the final third. They appeared to have scored an insurance goal, only for the flag to go up, but their pressure paid off in the 80th minute when Carlos Salcedo brought down Roger Martínez in the box.

Emanuel Aguilera stepped up to take the ensuing penalty kick, and he buried it to make it 2-4 (4-5) for the Águilas.

There was no way back for Tigres after that, and América saw the game out and booked their spot in the next round.

With the 2-4 (4-5 aggregate) win, América advances to the semifinals while Tigres are eliminated.


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