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Tigres TIG
Francisco Córdova 44',Luis Quiñónes 47'
Víctor Dávila 5'


Tigres take first-leg advantage over Club León in Concacaf Champions League semi-final

Two goals in quick succession before half time enabled Los Auriazules to turn the game around after they had fallen behind to La Fiera.

Two goals in quick succession before half time enabled Los Auriazules to turn the game around after they had fallen behind to La Fiera.
Two goals in quick succession before half time enabled Los Auriazules to turn the game around after they had fallen behind to La Fiera.JCAAFP

Tigres came from behind to defeat Liga MX rivals Club León in an end-to-end clash at Estadio Universitario on Tuesday and take a 2-1 lead into the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League semi-final tie, which will take place at Estadio León next week (Wednesday 3 May).

León strike early

Despite their eventual victory, the hosts couldn’t have got off to any worse a start, as Víctor Dávila put Los Panzas Verdes in front after only five minutes, collecting a loose ball just outside the penalty area before firing a fine angled drive past Nahuel Guzmán and into the far corner of the net.

Robert Siboldi’s men immediately went in search of an equaliser, which almost arrived in sublime fashion through André Pierre-Gignac. In the 13th minute, the Frenchman found a pocket of space in behind the León defence and attempted a delicate dink over Rodolfo Cata, only to see the ball drift agonisingly wide of the far post.

Guzmnán keeps León at bay, Gignac off-colour

At the other end, Guzmán made a series of crucial interventions to prevent the visitors from extending their advantage, saving from Elías Hernández and Stiven Barriero before then somehow denying Ángel Mena when the winger had looked certain to score.

Minutes before that last opportunity, Gignac had previously been in the same boat as his team began to come back into the game as an attacking force around the half-hour mark. Luis Quiñones whipped in a superb cross from the right onto the head of Tigres’ star striker, who contrived to head wide of the post from four yards out, to the disbelief of everyone looking on.

Quick-fire goals put Tigres ahead

However, not only did the equaliser arrive on the stroke of half time, but Los Auriazules completely turned the game on its head with two goals in quick succession before the break. After Gignac had missed another headed chance, Quiñones clipped another ball into the box, which the Frenchman missed but was somewhat scuffed into the net by midfielder Sebastián Córdova. And, seconds later, Colombian winger Quiñones, who had been whistled by his own fans, sent those supporters into raptures by volleying home a loose ball in the penalty area to give the hosts the lead deep into stoppage time.

León’s tactical switch to stay in the tie

The second half resumed in much the same vein, with opportunities initially continuing to come at either end. The best of them came for Los Auriazules, with Cota coming out on top in a one-on-one battle with André immediately after the restart; it wasn’t to be the normally deadly Frenchman’s night in front of goal.

Tigres looked the more likely to grab a third goal in the early part of the second period, which caused León coach Nicolas Larcamón into making a tactical change to ensure that his team didn’t fall further behind before next week’s second leg. With the visitors opting to shore things up at the back, the final quarter of the game played out very differently, with La Fiera managing to stave off the threat posed by their opponents and maintain just a one-goal deficit.

Who will Tigres or León face in the final?

The winner of the tie will face off against either Philadelphia Union or LAFC in the final. The first leg of the all-American clash takes place later on Wednesday (9pm ET).

León FC


Joel Campbell (55', Elías Hernández), Alfonso Alvarado (65', Víctor Dávila), Brian Rubio (65', Lucas Di Yorio), Jesús Garza (74', Luis Quiñones), Nicolás Ibáñez (74', Sebastián Córdova), Diego Lainez (84', Fernando Gorriarán), Paúl Bellón (90', Osvaldo Rodríguez), Jesús Angulo (90', Ángel Mena)


0-1, 5': Víctor Dávila, 1-1, 44': Francisco Córdova, 2-1, 47': Luis Quiñónes


Referee: Armando Villarreal
VAR Referee: Timothy Ford, Chris Penso
Osvaldo Rodríguez (43',Yellow) Campbell (73',Yellow) Iván Moreno (77',Yellow) Lucas Romero (80',Yellow) Igor Lichnovsky (92',Yellow)


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