MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) — Julio Furch, Luis Reyes and Luis Quiñones capped the offensive gale unleashed by Atlas, which swept Tigres 3-0 on Wednesday and took a solid lead in their Clausura tournament semifinal series with goals. Mexico.
Argentine striker Furch converted a penalty in the 37th minute to put the locals ahead, winger Reyes converted with a mid-range shot in the 60th minute to expand and Colombian Quiñones added a goal in the 89th minute to sentence the locals in the Jalisco Stadium in the western city of Guadalajara.
The Foxes, who were third in the standings in the regular tournament, could tie or lose by difference of two goals and would advance to the final for the second consecutive tournament.
Atlas is looking to be just the third team to win consecutive tournaments in Mexico since 1996, when short tournaments were introduced. The other two are Pumas and Leon.
Tigres was the second best in the regular championship and they have the tiebreaker criteria in their favor, so they need a victory by difference of three goals in their fief in the northern city of Monterrey to get to the final.
The team led by Miguel Herrera has to improve. Counting the regular tournament, they have lost three of their last five meetings.
In the quarterfinals they tied with Cruz Azul 1-1 and advanced thanks to their better position in the table.
In the other key that begins on Thursday, America will face the leader Pachuca.
Knowing that the draw favors them, Tigres planned a match betting on the counterattack and the match turned rocky in the first few minutes because the Foxes could not find a way to overcome the visiting defensive scheme.
Atlas took the lead when Ecuadorian winger Aníbal Chalá was brought down inside the area by goalkeeper Nahuel Guzmán for a penalty that Furch converted with a powerful shot that hit the base of the right post before going into the back of the net.
Despite going down, the university students did not modify their bet and the hosts did not generate clear scoring plays until “Hueso” Reyes took a ball on the outskirts of the area and converted with a low shot by Guzmán’s left post.
Already with the disadvantage of two goals, Tigres modified the scheme and played with a couple of attackers —the Paraguayan Carlos González entered to accompany the Frenchman André-Pierre Gignac.
The university students were close to discounting at 73 with a shot by Venezuelan Jefferson Soteldo that was deflected over the line by Argentine defender Emanuel Aguilera.
Tigres knocked on the door again in the 76th minute with a shot by Argentine Guido Pizarro that was deflected for a corner kick by Colombian goalkeeper Camilo Vargas.
González had one more chance at 83 with a header that went slightly wide.
Atlas got the third when Quiñones took a ball down the left flank, approached the area and hit a powerful right hand that beat Guzmán’s throw for 3-0.