The reigning Liga MX champion Tigres defeated MLS team Real Salt Lake to advance to the semifinals of the inaugural Leagues Cup.
The Leagues Cup is a new tournament pitting four teams from MLS against four teams from Liga MX (Tigres, Cruz Azul, Tijuana and America), with a Concacaf Champions League berth awarded to the winner.
The Tigres closed out the quarterfinal round by getting past Real Salt Lake 1-0 thanks to a 30-meter blast from Edu Vargas in minute 57.
After this week’s action, three Liga MX teams and a single MLS team reached the semifinals. Cruz Azul will face the L.A. Galaxy in one semifinal, while America and the Tigres square off yet again (América defeated the Tigres in the Liga MX Champions Cup two weeks ago).
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The Tigres demonstrated again why they are one of the top clubs in the region, with a solid, steady performance in Utah. The 1-0 victory in the Leagues Cup follows on the heels of a comfortable 4-2 win over Morelia in their Liga MX season opener last week.
Coach Ricardo Ferretti had his team play a possession-heavy offense but defensive miscues forced goalie Nahuel Guzman to be alert – and he was, making 3 saves on the night. The Tigres had the ball for 62% of the game and won it when Vargas blasted a shot from 30 meters that was deflected by a RSL defender. The deflection caused the ball to dip and curve away from Salt Lake goalie Nick Rimando and it rippled the net.
The Tigres return home for a Sunday night contest in Guadalajara at the Estadio Omnilife and are favored to collect all 3 points against the Chivas, but the home team has their backs against the wall in the relegation standings.