• Sunday Dec 24, 2017

    SCCL View: Tigres

    Juninho (middle) is flanked by teammates in celebration after Tigres captured the 2017 Liga MX Apertura title. (Photo: Mexsport)

    In the fifth of a series of articles taking a closer look at each of the 16 teams in the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL), CONCACAF.com goes in-depth on Tigres.

    TIGRES/MEXICO

    By The Numbers

    2017 Apertura Record: W9 D5 L3 GF28 GA16

    Final Position (Regular Season): Second Place, 2017 Liga MX Apertura 

    Final Position (Playoffs): Champion

    Playoff Results: Quarterfinals (agg: 2-2 v Leon, advanced by virtue of having a better regular-season record); Semifinals (agg: 4-0 v Club America); Final (agg: 3-2 v Monterrey)

    Top Scorer (Regular Season): Enner Valencia, 9 goals

    Season Summary

    Tigres had a tidy second-place finish behind rival Monterrey in the 2017 Liga MX Apertura regular season and then went into overdrive in the playoffs.  The two-time Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League runner-up survived a scare in the quarterfinals against Leon (progressing thanks to owning a better regular-season record after the series ended 2-2 on aggregate), before a convincing triumph over Club America (agg: 4-0) in the semifinals.  The final against Monterrey was hard-fought, but Tigres emerged victorious for its sixth Liga MX title (agg: 3-2; 1st Leg: 1-1 home draw; 2nd Leg: 2-1 away win).

    Season Highlight

    It was a first-ever Clasico Regio final, and a memorable one at that.  The series opener ended in a 1-1 draw, but Tigres went on the road for 2-1 win at the Estadio BBVA Bancomer.  Dorlan Pabon (2’) gave host Monterrey an early 1-0 lead, only for UANL to rally on goals by Eduardo Vargas (30’) and Francisco Meza (35’).

    Key Player: Anselmo Vendrechovski “Juninho “

    He scored four regular-season goals during the 2017 Apertura, but the Brazilian-born defender provided the needed stability and leadership as captain to anchor a defense that conceded just 16 times in 17 matches – third best in the league.

    Player to Watch in 2018: Raul Torres

    The 21-year-old midfielder made his debut off the substitute’s bench in the Apertura opener against Puebla, the first of four appearances on the season after spending two seasons in the club’s youth system.    

    Fabulous Facts

    Tigres is the first team to reach three consecutive finals since Necaxa more than 20 years ago and it is the first to capture three straight Apertura crowns.

    SCCL Round of 16 Outlook

    Can Tigres’ Liga MX success carryover to the SCCL where it has finished as runner-up in the last two editions?  UANL is one of the favorites in 2018, but a tricky Round of 16 series awaits against Herediano, which went 22 games without a defeat to win the 2017 Costa Rican Invierno regular-season title.  The teams met in the 2016/17 group stage with UNAL winning 3-1 in Heredia and 3-0 at home.

     

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