Tigres UANL overcame León to take the upper hand in the 2019 Liga MX Clausura Final after Andre-Pierre Gignac’s goal gave them a 1-0 first-leg victory at the Estadio Universitario.
The game enjoyed a relatively lively start, and it was the visitors who had the first real chance of the game when Vinicio Angulo nearly connected from an Angel Mena cross.
But Tigres’s breakthrough was well worked, and it arrived midway through the first half when a Luis Quiñones shot was saved. The rebound fell to none other than Andre-Pierre Gignac, who fired into an empty net to give the hosts the lead.
Moments later, Mena had a golden opportunity to equalize, but with just the goalkeeper to beat, the Ecuadorian international failed to control the ball inside the box, as one of León’s best first half chances went to waste.
In the 31st minute, Nahuel Guzman made a mess out of a goalkeeper clearance, but he was there to fix his own mistake, making a great save off a Mena opportunity.
León then had Ramiro Gonzalez to thank after a block from the Argentine defender prevented Tigres from adding a second.
Tigres’s chances would keep on coming, and close to halftime, Fernando Navarro nearly scored an own-goal in what would have been one of the howlers of the season, with the ball deflecting off his foot and hitting the woodwork.
León’s struggles to get a foothold of the match continued well into the second. Gignac and Enner Valencia kept applying plenty of pressure on the León backline and had several chances to double the score.
In added time, once again Gignac sent a tantalizing cross into a promising position inside the box, but this time it would be Andres Mosquera who would foil the Frenchman’s low drive to keep his side from falling 2-0 heading into the second leg.
Both teams will clash again on Sunday at the Nou Camp for the decisive second leg.