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Angulo’s early red sets tone for Tigres’ loss in Pachuca

With Tigres down to ten men 12 minutes into the match, Pachuca seized control and managed to pull away with a home victory.

Pachuca v Tigres UANL - Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Following yesterday night’s loss to the hands of Pachuca, Tigres have now fallen from 1st to 3rd overall in the league standings, seeing both Toluca and Monterrey hop over them with their victories this past weekend. Putting their 5-game winning streak on the line, Herrera’s club visited what they knew would be a very tough Pachuca squad who have yet to lose a game at home this season.

With that being said, the visitors did take control of the match early on, as Aquino sent in a good cross within the first 10 seconds of the match, followed a couple of minutes later by a wide open Nico López shot that was deflected by keeper Ustari. You got the feeling they were on their game and it was only a matter of time.

Ten minutes in however, Avilés Hurtado took the ball and made a quick move that had Diego Reyes slipping up as if he were on a wet floor. Upon realizing the danger of the situation, Jesús Angulo tried to close him out from behind and stepped on his heel disturbingly, causing Hurtado to fall directly forward into the box. The ref was summoned to use VAR to decide whether it was a penalty or not. Despite occurring outside of the box, the hard and unnecessary foul was revealed and Angulo was fairly shown a red card, as those types of injury-threatening fouls must be avoided at all costs.

The ensuing free-kick saw Luis Chávez fire a left-footed missile toward Nahuel’s bottom-left corner, to which the Argentine keeper responded accordingly, but coughed the ball up toward the center, where a free Nico Ibáñez simply pushed the ball in to give the home team the lead. And that pretty much ended Tigres’ chances in this one. Apart from two long distance shots by Gignac and López, the yellow and blue failed to create any real sense of danger throughout the match and ended up going much quieter than what we’re used to seeing from this dynamic offense.

After knocking on the door a few times to start the second half, defender Kevin Alvarez took the ball about 15 minutes into the half, and sent a precise cross from the right side into Ibáñez’s boots, who adjusted his body to fire off a perfect volley far from the Nahuel’s reach, leaving him to simply stand and watch the ball go by into the back of the net. In the end, Pachuca could’ve scored many more on the San Nicolás-based club, so the 2-0 was actually a good trade-off. Pachuca had double total shots (19 to 9), nearly 60% of ball possession, and completed around 140 more passes than the visitors. In short, Tuzos won this one fair and square, dominating in all facets from start to finish.

The victory propels Pachuca to 4th overall, just three points behind Tigres, who occupy 3rd overall. More importantly, it solidifies their project and sends a strong message to the rest of the league, reminding everyone they continue to be title contenders. Up next for the home side is a visit to the border city of Juárez, while Tigres head home for a date with Santos.