Tigres rolls Tijuana in Clausura semis; Toluca level late for draw with Chivas
Tigres made it five consecutive wins -- with 16 goals scored and two conceded over those matches -- and took a giant step toward the Liga MX final in Estadio Universitario with a 2-0 win against top-seed Club Tijuana.
Lucas Zelarayan flicked the ball up, turned and finished to put Tigres up in the 42nd minute, with Javier Aquino sliding the ball into the bottom corner of the goal right before half-time for the second of the night after some sloppy defense by Tijuana.
Tigres' could've won by more goals but for Xolos goalkeeper Gibran Lajud, who had a string of fine saves in the first half.
Tijuana lost its rock in defense when captain and center-back Juan Carlos Valenzuela was taken off with an injury in the 21st.
The return leg is at the Estadio Caliente in Tijuana on Sunday.
Toluca drew 1-1 with Chivas on Thursday in the first leg of the 2017 Clausura semifinal, leaving everything to play for in the return game on Sunday in Guadalajara.
Substitute Rodolfo Pizarro gave Chivas the lead and an away goal in Estadio Nemesio Diez in the 83rd minute, but the Guadalajara team couldn't hold on and Fernando Uribe equalized two minutes later.
Chivas started nervously as Toluca pushed forward, but gradually wrestled control of the game. After 90 minutes, a draw was a fair result.
Chivas forward Carlos Fierro had a good chance early on and Orbelin Pineda forced a fine save from Toluca and Mexico goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera two minutes before half-time.
The best chance of the game fell to Gabriel Hauche in the 53rd when the Argentine found himself free inside the box, but his volleyed shot was straight at keeper Rodolfo Cota.
Pizarro went clean through on goal and finished after a deflected shot from Angel Zaldivar fell into his path, while Uribe headed in from a free kick swung in from the left.
Toluca is celebrating its 100th anniversary, while Chivas are looking for their first title in just over 10 years.
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.