Tigres climbed into first place after getting a dominant win over Chivas by a 2-0 score in the Copa GNP por Mexico. With two goals from Andre-Pierre Gignac, Tigres got an easy win to climb over Chivas and top Group B with four points. It was a very even game in the first half, but Chivas numerous changes at halftime ended up giving Tigres possession and a second goal ended the game for it. Chivas will now have to play for a place in the semifinals on Saturday when they face Mazatlan FC. Tigres meanwhile will hope to clinch a spot in the semifinals with a tie or win against Atlas on Sunday.
The game started with both teams coming out with what many would think would be their best starting lineup. The big news was the debut of Leonardo Fernandez with Tigres, after dazzling last season with Toluca. After a couple of even minutes, Luis “Chaka” Rodriguez got off a long range shot that bounced off the post in the first good chance at goal from either team. Chivas had their first chance off a corner kick but Miguel Ponce headed it wide even when he was wide open. Later it would be Tigres who would get another chance when Andre-Pierre Gignac got the ball in the area, but Jesus Molina was able to block his shot with a sliding tackle. Chivas later started to pressure more and almost had a good chance when Ricardo Angulo got the ball in the area, but he fell trying to get his shot off after a couple of Tigres defenders got to him. Chivas had their best chance when Jose Juan Macias got the ball in the area, but he decided to pass instead of shooting and gave the ball to a Tigres defender. Chivas would rue the miss when a couple of minutes later, Andre-Pierre Gignac opened the scoring after getting to a cross and volleying it past Chivas’ keeper Jose Antonio Rodriguez for the 1-0. In the final minutes of the half, Chivas had a chance of a free kick but Tigres’ defender Hugo Ayala was able to clear it.
The second half started with Chivas making eleven changes and coming in with a whole new setup. Chivas had a good chance but Oribe Peralta failed to get to the ball. He would have been alone had he gotten it down. Then after a defensive mistake, Gignac scored again for the 2-0. Chivas first gave up the ball, after a bad mistake from Jose Madueña to Rafael Carioca who then found Gignac in the area. APG took advantage of terrible defending from Alexis Peña, who gave him all the time in the world, to place the ball past goalkeeper Raul Gudiño. Tigres continued to control the game as it looked like Chivas numerous changes hurt the team. Chivas had their best chance in the second half when Ronaldo Cisneros got a shot off in the area that forced Tigres’ keeper, Miguel Ortega, to make a good save. Later off a free kick, Chivas had another good chance but Antonio Briseño headed it wide and also was ruled to be offside. Chivas didn’t have another and Tigres went out with a comfortable win.
After a great performance in their tournament debut against Atlas, Chivas seemed to have taken a step back with a lackluster performance. Although they were very even in the first half, their second team in the second half couldn’t cope with Tigres, and they never looked close to getting a tie. Tigres meanwhile improved a lot from their scoreless tie against Mazatlan in their tournament debut. They are now poised to make it to the semifinals, which they will if they tie or win against Atlas. By what has been shown in the tournament, it would take a total upset for that not to happen.