Tigres fend off late Orlando City surge to book QF spot
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Tigres fend off late Orlando City surge to book QF spot

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ORLANDO Tigres UANL fended off a late surge from Orlando City to book their place in the 2023 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals with a 1-1 draw in the Round of 16 second leg on Wednesday night at Orlando’s Exploria Stadium.

With the away goal tiebreaker in their favor after a 1-1 final on aggregate, Tigres secured their spot in the final eight, where they will face the winner of the Pachuca-Motagua series.

After delivering a Man of the Match performance in the first leg, Orlando City GK Pedro Gallese showed that he would be just as tough to beat on this night, as he stretched to his right to parry a buzzing Luis Quinones shot to safety, followed minutes later by an acrobatic tip of a Fernando Gorriaran free kick.

Gallese then topped those first two stops with a reaction save on a Gorriaran header right in front of goal, leaving the visiting Felinos shaking their heads in dismay.

Orlando City started to create some chances of their own and Ivan Angulo nearly pulled off a spectacular touch and volley in the 20’, only to see his effort sail wide.

Tigres were finally able to break through against Gallese in the 21’, as Sebastian Cordova trapped a ball off his chest and fired in a left-footed shot at the near post to give Tigres a 1-0 lead.


The home side had their best look at goal in the seconds before halftime on a cross from Lucas Petrasso that connected with Ramiro Enrique, whose shot hit the chest of Tigres GK Nahuel Guzman and bounced away.

The Liga MX side sought to close things out with a second goal and Nicolas Ibanez looked set to do so, but once again Gallese was superb in making a save midway through the half.

Gallese kept his team in the match with another two sensational saves and the home side had hope when Ercan Kara came off the bench and scored on an overhead kick in the 90’ to make it 1-1, setting up a grandstand finish.


Orlando City would get a final crack at a second, but Guzman and the Tigres defense held to secure the result.