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Campeón de Campeones match recap: Tigres UANL 4, Santos Laguna 0

Tigres dismantles the defending Liga MX champions in Carson, California

Tigres UANL v Santos Laguna - Playoffs Torneo Clausura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

A dominant performance from Tigres UANL sees them become the 2018 Campeón de Campeones over Santos Laguna by a score of 4-0. Guido Pizarro, Javier Aquino, Lucas Zelerayán, and André-Pierre Gignac each scored in the rout.

Even before the match had begun Santos would find themselves behind with the announcement that Jesús Isijara would be undergoing surgery for an injury to the meniscus in his right knee.

The early part of the match was evident that these were teams still coming off of preseason. Plenty of missed passes and a general slowness to ghe game as players found their legs after summer vacation. Guido Pizarro had a shot from distance in the fifth minute that went well high over the bar. A minute later, Jesús Dueñas would test Jonathan Orozco with a blast from Orozco’s right, but Jona saw the shot all the way and stopped it easily, doing the Dikembe Mutombo finger wag after.

Santos had a decen chance in the ninth minute when Julio Furch floated a cross in to the middle of the box. Jonathan Rodríguez leapt up to get a head on it, but Nahuel Guzmán got to it first, pulling the ball down to defuse the chance. Brian Lozano would hace a go from about 25 yards out off of a sloppy turnover, but like Pizarro before him his shot went well high of Guzmán’s net.

in the 17th minute, André-Pierre Gignac tried a shot from about 20 yards out, but it looked to take a deflection off of a player, which killed the momentum on the ball and allowed Orozco to gather it easily.

Santos did well to constantly drop midfielders back to help out center backs Hugo Nervo and Gerardo Alcoba, who looked solid in Robert Siboldi’s system.

In the 20th minute, Gignac hit a fantasticscissor kick into the top of the net, but it was ruled (correctly) that Jürgen Damm had fouled Hugo Nervo in the box getting the header over to Gignac.

In the 24th minute there was a bit of controversy as Javier Cortés and Jorge Torres Nilo collided going for a ball. The ball squirted forward to Brian Lozano, who took it into the box and put it past Nahuel Guzmán. It was however adjudged to have been played offside, and Torres Nilo was shown a yellow card for his harsh tackle.

In the 30th minute, Lucas Zelerayán floated a cross for André-Pierre Gignac went up for the header and missed. The ball fell to Jürgen Damm, whose shot went just wide, into the side-netting. A minute later, Zelerayán would put another cross over to Damm. Damm’s shot hit off of Gerardo Alcoba’s hand, and the referee awarded a penalty and showed Alcoba a yellow card. Gignac would need to stop play for a mnnute due to some blood on his arm. He got patched up, walked up to the spot and took the penalty, however his shot was stopped by Jona Orozco.

In the 39th minute, Nahuel came up big for Tigres when Brian Lozano slipped his defender, cut across the box, and hit a left footed shot. Nahuel read it all the way and slapped the ball down and stopped a follow up attempt at point-blank range.

Tigres would finally break through off of a set piece. Off of a corner kick, Guido Pizarro went up and got his head on the ball, beating Jona Orozco to give Tigres the lead.

Tigres would get a second in the 45th minute when Jürgen Damm hit a nice cross into the box for Javier Aquino. While Nervo and Alcoa were largely solid, on this particular play Aquino was able to split the center backs and hit a diving header past Orozco for Tigres’ second goal before the half.

Orozco was tested early in the second half, when Zelerayán hit a shot from distance in the 47th minute that forced Orozco into a making a diving save to tip the dipping ball wide of the net. In the 52nd minute, he’d need to come up huge again on a shot from 20 yards from Aquino, diving to tip the ball over the crossbar.

There was another bit of controversy in the 69th minute as Brian Lozano sprung Jonathan Rodríguez. The Uruguayan drove into the box and was taken down by Jesús Dueñas, however the referee did not whistle for a penalty.

In the 67th Damm would hit another good cross, this time to Zelerayán who buried it to give Tigres a 3-0 lead.

Things were just not going well for Santos, as even when they got a break they were unable to convert it. Moments after the third Tigres’ goal they forced a turnover deep to Jonathan Rodríguez. He was able to a shot off on goal, but it rolled just wide of the far post.

André-Pierre Gignac would add to the misery in the 74th minute when he hit a cross from Aquino back across the grain and past Orozco for Tigres’ fourth goal of the evening.

Tigres looked confident on and off of the ball and capitalized on the mistakes that Santos made. Santos will need to learn their lessons from this one and put it behind them quickly.

As Campeón de Campeones, Tigres will play MLS Cup winners Toronto FC at BMO Field in Toronto on September 19 in the inaugural Campeones Cup. To start the Liga MX season, Tigres will host León on Saturday, while Santos will look to bounce back when they host Lobos BUAP on Sunday.

Tigres UANL: Nahuel Guzmán; Jorge Torres Nilo, Hugo Ayala, Luis Rodríguez; Javier Aquino, Rafael Carioca (Raúl Torres, 63’), Guido Pizarro, Jesús Dueñas, Jürgen Damm (Ismael Sosa, 77’), André-Pierre Gignac (Eduardo Vargas, 77’) , Lucas Zelerayán

Santos Laguna: Jonathan Orozco; Jesús Angulo, Hugo Nervo, Gerardo Alcoba, José Abella; Brian Lozano (, Juan José Vázquez, Javier Cortés (Gerardo Arteaga, 58’), Osvaldo Martínez; Julio Furch, Jonathan Rodríguez (Cris Martínez, 78’)

Scoring: Tigres UANL - Guido Pizarro (42’), Javier Aquino (45’), Lucas Zelerayán (67’), André-Pierre Gignac (73’); Santos Laguna - None

Disciplinary: Tigres UANL - Jorge Torres Nilo (Yellow - 27’); Santos Laguna - Gerardo Alcoba (Yellow - 32’), José Abella (Yellow - 80’)