Image via ligamx.net
Tigres and Toluca played to a goalless draw in their Liga MX semifinal first leg. The return leg will be in Monterrey this Sunday.
Before the start of the game, the Tigres manager, Ricardo Ferretti, had to do without his captain and defender, Juninho, who is set to miss the rest of the tournament due to injury. Ferretti was faithful to his style, however, and he started a defensive formation from the start.
In contrast, it was ex-Tigres-man, Lucas Lobos, who was playing the inspirational football at the initial whistle. Only 2 minuets had passed and Lucas Lobos forced the Tigres goalkeeper, Nahuel Guzman, to his first save with a powerful shot from distance.
In the 19th minute, Lucas Lobos nearly scored the goal of the tournament with a goal directly from a corner, but Nahuel Guzman was there again to make the save.
It took Tigres 27 minutes to get their first chance at goal. Damian Alvarez flew by the left-wing and forced Alfredo Talavera to a tricky save.
Both teams would go scoreless at the half, but Toluca would look like the better team.
In the 56th minute, Isaac Brizuela would force Guzman to another spectacular save with another long-distance shot. Nahuel Guzman was undoubtedly the best player on the field and put an impressive performance for Tigres between the sticks today.
In the 76th minute, Egidio Arevalo would receive a red card for a two-footed tackle on Lucas Lobos. It was a bad tackle, and Arevalo now awaits the number of games he will be suspended for. It is expected that he could miss the rest of the Liguilla with suspension.
In injury time, things almost went from bad to worse for Tigres; a Villa backpass almost resulted in an own goal, but the ball trickled down the side of the net.
At the final whistle, both teams finished the game with all to play for in the return leg. Toluca will need to score goals if they expect to be in the Liga MX final. On the other hand, another goalless draw would be enough for Tigres to go through to the final. Nonetheless, Ferretti will have to do without not just his captain but Arevalo, his most important player in the midfield.