Having apparently not learned their lesson from last weekend’s Clásico Regio, Tigres once again let a 2-0 lead slip – and this time they didn’t just draw, but lose. The night started brightly for the hosts, who opened the scoring in just the 8th minute. Emanuel Villa set up Damián Álvarez, whose diagonal shot beat goalkeeper Julio González to make it 1-0.
Tigres would quickly increase their advantage thanks to the unfortunate Javier Orozco. José Francisco “Gringo” Torres swung in a dangerous free kick; it hit the crossbar and bounced into the box, where the ball rebounded against Orozco, who could do nothing to prevent it entering his own net. It was the 11th minute and Tigres were up 2-0.
But Santos didn’t hang their heads. Coach Pedro Caixinha made a tactical change in the 21st minute, taking off Alonso Escoboza and sending on Djaniny Tavares. The Laguneros immediately began generating chances, with first “Chato” Rodríguez failing to capitalize on his opportunity and then Nahuel Guzmán making a good save to prevent Djaniny from scoring.
But the goal was coming, and in the 35th minute, it arrived. Carlos Darwin Quintero played the ball in from the right flank and Djaniny headed it past Guzmán to make it 2-1. It would be tied up before halftime.
In the 40th minute, Quintero sent a beautiful through ball through a crowd of Tigres players, where it fell perfectly for Andrés Rentería. He got around the goalkeeper and passed the ball into the empty net to make it 2-2.
The second half started the way the first half had finished: with Santos on top and Tigres reeling. The goal of the night came in the 59th minute, when Oswaldo Alanís hit a shot from within his own half, about 55 yards from goal. It looked overly ambitious on first glance, but Nahuel Guzmán could not backpedal fast enough and the ball dropped over him and into the empty net to give Santos the 2-3 lead.
Guzmán would play a role in Santos’s final goal as well. In the 64th minute, Quintero served in a free kick from midfield, and with Tigres’ defense apparently asleep, Javier Orozco easily beat Guzmán to the ball, heading it into an empty net to make it 2-4 in favor of the visitors.
It would get even worse for Tigres when a frustrated Damián Álvarez kicked Rodolfo Salinas in the back, earning himself a straight red card in the 72nd minute. The game would quickly be reduced to 10 vs 10, though, as substitute Ribair Rodríguez then kicked Egidio Arévalo to earn a red card of his own minutes later.
Santos Laguna will now host Pubela in the Gran Final, with the date and time set to be announced later today.