• Tuesday Jan 01, 2013

    Tigres, Cruz Azul draw 0-0 in friendly

    SAN NICOLAS DE LOS GARZA, Mexico -- Playing in its last friendly prior to the start of the Liga MX 2013 Clausura, CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinalist Tigres and visiting Cruz Azul battled to a 0-0 draw on Saturday at a chilly, but sold-out, Estadio Universitario.

    Though the match had a regular-season feel, the host was clearly focusing on specific areas of development, including high pressure, ball recovery, as well as offensive interaction in and around the opponent's penalty area.

    Tigres dominated the early going with Danilo Veron and Damian Alvarez controlling the right and left sides, respectively. Emanuel Villa and Lucas Lobos were moving sharply through the muddle.

    Alvarez almost gave his side a 24th minute lead, but his 17-yard attempt from the left corner of the box hit the intersection of the right post and crossbar.

    In the 43rd minute, Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona dove to his left to save a Villa shot after a nifty interchange with the influential Alvarez.

    After the break, Cruz Azul forward Mariano Pavone, 30, became an increasingly threatening figure. He did well to set-up Jair Pereira on a missed opportunity in the 50th minute and, then, missed on a header of his own 17 minutes later.

    The impressive Veron had an opportunity to give UANL the win just before the final whistle, however, his shot from extremely close range sailed over the bar.

    Tigres, which will face the Seattle Sounders in the Champions League quarterfinals on March 6 and 12, opens its Liga MX schedule at home on January 5 against Jaguares. Cruz Azul, a five-time CONCACAF club champion, visits Morelia on Friday.

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