Pachuca vs Tigres – Wednesday 19:00 PT/22:00 ET Estadio Hidalgo – Pachuca, Mexico.
This is it! The final stage of the gruelling COCACAF Champions League will see Pachuca hold on to the narrow advantage that the 1-1 draw at the Estadio Universitario gave them last week. Tigres in the meantime are on the hunt to win their first ever international trophy.
The 1-1 draw at home will mean that Los Auriazules will have to either win the match in Pachuca on Wednesday or draw the game with a score-line higher than 1-1. On paper Tigres certainly, should have enough to get the result that they need to overcome their international title drought.
But the club seems to be somewhat cursed when it comes to winning finals. In 2015 Tigres reached the final of the Copa Libertadores against River Plate. They only managed a 0-0 draw at home at the Estadio Universitario, and were then defeated 3-0 down in Argentina, despite the fact that the club brought in star striker André-Pierre Gignac.
Then in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League final, Tigres faced league rivals Club América. Once again, however, Los Auriazules failed to gain a positive result at home losing 1-2. América then dominated the second leg winning 2-0, and 4-1 on aggregate.
As a result, Tigres’ head coach Ricardo Ferretti has put all the focus on the continental competition this season. Tigres’ concentrating on the CONCACAF Champions League has meant that results in the league have been somewhat disappointing during the Clausura, and Tigres are in real danger of missing out on the Liguilla.
Speaking in Vancouver following the club’s qualification to the final Ferretti seemed little bothered by domestic results. The goal was clear Tigres had to win the Champions League, and qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup. After all the sense is that Tigres have won enough domestic trophies and that the squad was build, which is understood to be the most expensive in the Western Hemisphere, to compete against the winner of the UEFA Champions League.
Pachuca in the meantime have already won international trophies on four occasions. Their last triumph came in 2010, and they will, therefore, feel far less pressure than Tigres going into this final. With this in mind, Pachuca certainly do have what it takes to see out the tie against Tigres in the last 90 minutes of this competition.
Pachuca vs Tigres – Players to look out for:
Omar Gonzalez #4 – Pachuca
The big American-born defender joined Pachuca from Los Angeles Galaxy in December 2015. One of the main reasons for Gonzalez to make the switch from Major League Soccer to Liga MX was the salary cap restrictions in MLS. Born in Dallas Gonzalez’s family is originally from Mexico, and the defender has been adamant that it was not just salary that made him move to Liga MX. Instead, Gonzalez has also stated that he wanted his kids to grow up in a Spanish-speaking environment, and on a personal level, he felt that Liga MX would provide him with a more challenging environment. With this in mind Gonzalez has not always been a starter for Pachuca, but when playing the American centre-back is a reliable defender, who is using his physical presence to hold together Pachuca’s defence.
André-Pierre Gignac #10 – Tigres
André-Pierre Gignac is by far the biggest star in Liga MX. The French national team striker has, however, struggled somewhat in the Clausura. Some of this might be because his club has focused on winning the CONCACAF Champions League where he played a significant role in defeating Vancouver Whitecaps in the semi-finals of the competition. With the final reached, in which Tigres will face Pachuca over two legs, Tigres will now focus on the Clausura. This was evident in Gignac’s recent performance against Chivas when the striker scored twice to double his Clausura tally from two goals to four goals.
Pachuca vs Tigres – Match Stats
- Tigres have never won an international trophy in their entire history.
- Pachuca have won the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup/Champions League on four occasions.
- Pachuca’s last trophy came in 2010 when they defeated Cruz Azul in the final.
Prediction: Pachuca vs Tigres 0-2
Pérez – Peña, Gonzalez, García, Medina – Aguirre, Alvarado Hernández – Rodríguez, Lozano, Figueroa
Coach: Diego Alonso
Guzmán – Rodríguez, Ayala, Juninho, Torres – Dueñas, Sosa, Meza, Aquino – Gignac, Vargas
Coach: Ricardo Ferretti