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Match preview: Tigres UANL vs. Santos Laguna

A potential Liguilla matchup as Tigres hosts regional rivals Santos.

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General view of the Universitario Stadium prior to the 6th round match between Tigres UANL and Atletico San Luis as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX at Universitario Stadium on February 19, 2022 in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Game: Club de Fútbol Tigres de la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León vs. Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.

Date: Wednesday, August 30th

Time: 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 10:00 p.m. Central, 9:00 p.m. local, 8:00 p.m. Pacific, 3:00 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Universitario (San Nicolas de los Garza, N.L.)

Referees: REF: Daniel Quintero Huitrón, AR1: Enríque Isaac Bustos Díaz, AR2: Erick Durón Martínez, 4TH: Yonatan Peinado Aguirre, VAR: Guillermo Pacheco Larios, AVAR: Marco Antonio Bisguerra Mendiola

Television: United States - TUDN; Mexico - ViX, Afizzionados

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), TUDN En Vivo, ViX

All-time record: Across all competitions, Tigres holds the lead with 32 wins to Santos’ 26 with 30 draws between them. In Liga MX play, Tigres has won 27 to Santos’ 23 with 30 draws. Most notably, Tigres beat Santos in the 2011 Apertura Final for their third championship, while Santos advanced past Tigres in the 2012 Clausura semifinal en route to their fourth championship. Tigres also defeated Santos in the 2018 Campeon de Campeones and in the 2018-19 Concacaf Champions League semifinal round. Tigres eliminated Santos from the 2021 Clausura Quarterfinals with a 1-0 win at El Volcán on a goal from Carlos Salcedo. In their last regular season meeting, Tigres won 3-0 in Torreón in January thanks to goals from Diego Reyes, André-Pierre Gignac, and Luis Quiñones. The last time the teams faced off in Monterrey, Tigres won 2-0 at El Volcán in August thanks to goals from Sebastián Córdova and Luis Quiñones.

Duvan Vergara of Santos celebrates after scoring the team’s second goal during the 6th round match between Santos Laguna and Chivas as part of Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on August 26, 2023 in Torreon, Mexico.
In Santos’ match against Chivas, the offense looked like a cohesive unit, making them far more dangerous than in previous matches.
Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

After a solid (if not surprising) win over Chivas on Saturday, Santos heads a few hours east to face Tigres, who are coming off of a 2-1 defeat of Pumas in CU. Both teams sit at eight points after five games on the season, with Tigres in sixth and Santos in seventh as a result of Tigres conceding three less goals while both scoring seven.

Santos’ offense finally clicked against Chivas, with Duván Vergara, Juan Brunetta, Pedro Aquino, and Harold Preciado looking like a cohesive unit. As a result, Santos won without league-leading goalscorer Preciado scoring, instead getting goals from Vergara and Brunetta in the win, and only conceding a penalty late.

Andre-Pierre Gignac of Tigres celebrates after scoring the team’s first goal during the 4th round match between Necaxa and Tigres UANL as part of the Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX at Victoria Stadium on August 20, 2023 in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
At 37 years old, André-Pierre Gignac is still as dangerous as ever. This season though, he has a supporting cast good enough that he doesn’t have to carry the team every night.
Photo by Jam Luis Cano/Media/Getty Images

Tigres is a much different beast, however. André-Pierre Gignac is still a force at 37 years of age, bolstered by a supporting cast of a resurgent Luis Quiñones and young guns like Ozziel Herrera, Diego Lainez, and Sebastián Córdova. Gignac and Quiñones each have two goals to lead the team, signifying that the team isn’t as reliant on Gignac as they once were, allowing him the freedom afforded a great player who no longer has to carry the weight of the team on their shoulders.

Tigres has looked a little vulnerable at times. The match against Pumas was always going to be difficult; despite it not being under the noon sun in Mexico City, Estadio Olímpico Universitario is an unforgiving place for any opponent, even in years Pumas are bad. Tigres almost dropped the opening match of the season when they hosted Puebla, with a stoppage time header from Nicolás Ibáñez salvaging a draw.

Midweek games are always tough, and both teams will need to remain focused against a strong opponent. It should be a fun match, and one we could perhaps see again in the Liguilla.