After taking an away goal advantage from the first leg, Tigres finished the job in stunning fashion on Saturday night as they scored five against Pumas UNAM to qualify to the semifinals of the 2016 Liga MX Apertura.
The visitors put up a spirited fight in the opening minutes of the game, but Tigres took an early lead courtesy of Andre-Pierre Gignac.
Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti’s side never looked back and got into their effective stride, scoring a second through a Dario Veron own goal.
After the interval, Pumas were again on top of the possession, but it was Tigres who was scoring the goals as Andre-Pierre Gignac grabbed his second of the night from a superb Jurgen Damm pass.
Gignac finished off his hat-trick when he combined with fellow Frenchman, Andy Delort, moments later to put things at 6-2 on aggregate.
Finally, Delort then followed up with a goal of his own to put the icing on the cake of a marvelous performance by Tigres.
Pumas UNAM came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their quarterfinals tie with Tigres.
The game saw Pumas dominate the opening few minutes, but it was the visitors who struck first when an Andre-Pierre Gignac flick set up Ismael Sosa, who struck past Alejandro “Pikolin” Palacios from the edge of the box to give Tigres the lead.
The Universitarios, though, continued to control possession of the ball, and it told before half-time as a penalty was called for a Juninho handball. Pablo Barrera stepped up and converted to level things at 1-1.
Much of the pre-match focus was on Andre-Pierre Gignac’s loss of form, and that was evident in the 45th minute when he missed an extraordinary opportunity to give the visitors the advantage heading into the break.
But at the restart, an Ismael Sosa cross sparked a Jurgen Damm play on the right-wing. The former Pachuca man used the space around him to cut inside and curl a left-footed shot past Pikolin to regain his side the lead.
In 66th minute, the hosts pulled leveled a second time. Fidel Martinez was fortunate to escape an offside call after a Pablo Barrera cross and finished past Nahuel Guzman to put the score at 2-2.
Despite finishing on top, Pumas was unable to pick out the winner as the match finished no further score.
With the result, Tigres take a healthy away goal advantage heading into second leg on Saturday, where Pumas will need to win to reach the semifinals of the Liguilla.
Santiago Palacios’ first goal for Pumas UNAM helped the Universitarios earn a 1-1 draw with Monarcas Morelia on Sunday.
The visitors had led after just five minutes when Raul Ruidiaz latched on to a Miguel Sansores through ball to beat Alejandro “Pikolin” Palacios.
But after mounting forward and coming close on several occasions, Santiago Palacios’ 71st minute strike put the Universitarios on their way to a share of the spoils.
In the closing stages of the game, Abraham Gonzalez saw himself sent off for Pumas with two yellow cards in a space of seconds. At the final whistle, though, both sides settled for the draw.
The point takes Monarcas Morelia above Veracruz in the relegation table but without a chance at making the Liguilla. Meanwhile, Pumas UNAM will need need a victory in the final game of the regular season to guarantee their place in the Liguilla.
Next, Monarcas Morelia will host Monterrey at the Estadio Morelos, while Pumas UNAM will visit Puebla.
Pumas UNAM compounded Veracruz’s misery and earned their first away win of the season with a 4-1 win at the Estadio Luis “Pirata” Fuente on Friday.
Abraham Gonzalez put the visitors in front before the half-hour mark when he latched on to a low Fidel Martinez cross to beat Pedro Gallese for the 1-0.
Pumas looked headed for a straightforward win when a penalty was called for a tackle inside the box. Dario Veron stepped up but hit the woodwork from the ensuing spot kick
Julio Furch, then, brought the Tiburones Rojos back into the game by tapping home immediately after the restart.
Fidel Martinez restored Pumas’ lead three minutes later when he arrowed a shot past Gallese following a superb pass from Matias Britos.
Things then went from bad to worse for the hosts when Arturo Paganoni received his marching orders for a second yellow.
With Pumas perhaps sensing an opportunity to seal it, Luis Fuentes made it 3-1 with a first-time shot from just outside the penalty area from a Jose Van Rankin pass.
There was still time left for Pumas to score more, and Abraham grabbed his brace to put the final score at 4-1.
With two games left in the regular season, Pumas next will host Monarcas Morelia at the Estadio Universitario, while Veracruz will visit Monterrey.
Ismael Sosa scored against his former team as Tigres moved within touching distance of sealing a place in the Liguilla with a 3-1 victory over Pumas UNAM.
Lucas Zelarayan gave Tigres a dream start by netting a superb free-kick inside just eight minutes.
The goal was the start of a strong spell for Tigres that culminated in red card for Pumas defender Marcelo Alatorre in the 21st minute.
But Matias Britos leveled on 32 minutes after pouncing on a loose ball inside the box.
Tigres restored their lead early in the second half, Andy Delort gathering an Ismael Sosa cross inside the box and smashing the ball past Alejandro “Pikolin” Palacios.
Pumas had more control as the final minute approached, but Sosa gave the visitors their insurance goal in added time. On a quick breakaway, Julian Quinones broke free down the left, leaving Sosa with an easy finish to seal the win for Tigres.
The result ends Pumas’ unbeaten run at home, and next, the Universitarios will look to bounce back against Veracruz next Friday. Meanwhile, Tigres face arch-rivals Monterrey in another edition of the Clasico Regio.