Pumas UNAM are through to the 2018 Liga MX Apertura Semifinals after beating Tigres UANL 3-1 in their Second Leg at the Estadio Olimpico Universitario on Sunday afternoon. Previously, a late Jesus Dueñas strike had helped Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti’s team see off Pumas 2-1 in the First Leg.
As expected, Pumas started the match as the liveliest of two teams, with Victor Malcorra having an attempt saved from Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman.
But Tigres were fashioning their chances on the counter, and in the 33rd minute, Eduardo Vargas missed a golden opportunity to open the scoring when he skied a shot over the bar after a nice play from Luis Alfonso “Chaka” Rodriguez.
Tigres would eventually go on to pay the price for Vargas’ miss, as Pumas took the lead to start the second half. Carlos Gonzalez popped up in the penalty area following a free-kick to head home the go-ahead goal.
In less than three minutes, Tigres jumped back in front of the tie. A Rafael Carioca shot from long range rebounded off the back of goalkeeper Alfredo Saldivar and into the back of the net to put the aggregate score 3-2 in favor of Tigres.
Moments later, Pumas took the lead again. Malcorra picked out an unmarked Felipe Mora inside the box, and the Chilean was there to regive the hosts the advantage.
Needing just one goal to overturn the series, Tigres mounted desperately on the attack, but in injury time, Pumas sealed the tie. Matias Alustiza jumpstarted a deadly counter, which he finished off a superb play from Carlos Gonzalez, giving the hosts a deserved ticket to the Semifinals.
Pumas will now wait to see who they face in the next round, which will be against either Club América or Monterrey.