In a matchup that could be repeated in the Liguilla, Tigres UANL would get the better of Santos Laguna. Goals from Enner Valencia and André-Pierre Gignac and a red card to Matheus Doría would ensure the hosts would come away with all three points on the evening.
In the 14th minute, Tigres would score off of a corner kick when Javiér Aquino would chest down a ball to Enner Valencia, who would turn and fire past Jonathan Orozco. The Santos players were incensed, insisting Aquino had handled the ball but referee Erick Miranda declined to review the goal by VAR and the goal stood.
Santos would pressure for an equalizer. In the 25th minute they would almost get one when they caught Nahuel Guzmán out of position, forcing the goalkeeper to make an acrobatic save to push the ball away. On the ensuing corner kick, the ball would fall to Matheus Doría, but the center back’s shot was well read by Nahuel and stopped.
In the 28th minute Tigres would almost get another when André=Pierre Gignac caught Jonathan Orozco off of his line and hit a chip shot that ricocheted off of the crossbar.
In the 40th minute, Santos would equalize when Julio Furch would fire a shot with pace from about 25 yards out that would beat Guzmán for his second goal of the season.
After the half, Tigres would really start pressuring and it would pay off in the 48th minute when Valencia would hit a cross to Gignac, who headed the ball past Jona Orozco to give the hosts the lead.
There was more controversy in the 65th minute when Doría went to clear a ball and caught Luis Quiñones on the back of the leg. Erick Miranda would go to VAR and determine that the offense was worthy of a red card, expelling the Brazilian center back in the 66th minute.
Neither side would back down however. Tigres would get several opportunities to widen their lead, one of the best being in the 81st minute when Eduardo Vargas would slam a shot off of the post.
Tigres will head to Veracruz to take on Tiburones Rojos on Friday, while Santos will host Tijuana on Sunday.
Tigres UANL: Nahuel Guzmán; Francisco Venegas, Francisco Meza, Hugo Ayala, Luis Rodríguez; Rafael Carioca, Guido Pizarro; Javier Aquino (Jesús Dueñas, 74’), Enner Valencia (Eduardo Vargas, 79’), Luis Quiñones; André-Pierre Gignac (Julián Quiñones, 85’)
Santos Laguna: Jonathan Orozco; Jesús Angulo, Matheus Doría, Hugo Nervo, José Abella; Brian Lozano (Hugo Rodríguez, 69’), Diego Valdés, José Juan Vázquez, Brayan Garnica (Ayrton Preciado, 64’); Julio Furch, Javiér Correa (Marlos Moreno, 77’)
Scoring: Tigres UANL - Enner Valencia (14’), André-Pierre Gignac (48’); Santos Laguna - Julio Furch (41’)
Disciplinary: Tigres UANL - Francisco Venegas (Yellow - 31’), Santos Laguna - José Abella (Yellow - 15’), Matheus Doría (Red - 66’)