Tigres beats Real Salt Lake to complete Liga MX sweep of MLS
Nahuel Guzman and Tigres advanced to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals after managing a 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night.
Tigres shut out RSL 2-0 in Mexico last week and advanced 3-1 on aggregate. They will play fellow Liga MX side Queretaro in the semifinal.
"I feel good about taking the next step," Tigres coach Ricardo Ferretti said. "We knew what difficulties we were going to encounter here. Nothing about tonight surprised me."
Real Salt Lake's Joao Plata scored the first goal Wednesday off a centering pass from Justen Glad from the right side. Plata outsprinted the defense right at goalie Nahuel Guzman and chipped it past him with his left foot from point blank in the 22nd minute.
RSL had a chance to level the aggregate score around the 73rd-minute mark, but Guzman stopped a penalty from Javier Morales. Guzman finished with three saves.
"I think that the four that got this far all passed through moments of trouble because the teams from the MLS are very good teams," Ferretti said. "They have players of great capacity. Maybe some people don't want to recognize that but they are very good teams that play at a good level. I think it will always be that way. The super clubs of the region died out long ago."
RSL's Yura Movsisyan glanced a shot off the crossbar in the 55th minute.
Andre-Pierre Gignac put the match away with a goal on the counter-attack in stoppage time.
Tigres had possession for 65 percent of the first half, but just 40 percent of the second half.
"Disappointed with exiting the tournament," RSL coach Jeff Cassar said. "It was something we really wanted to push on and make it back to the finals. But really pleased with the effort that our players put forth.
"We talked about sacrificing for each other and that's what I saw tonight. ... If we continue to do things like that, we're going to have a successful year. It definitely hurts, but we have to put it behind us."