Tigres advance to the final after winning by one goal following a scoreless draw in the first leg of the semifinalAn own goal from Queretaro's Manuel Lopez Mondragon proved the decider in Tigres UANL's 1-0 victory in the Apertura semifinal matchup on Sunday.
Tigres is now through to the 2011 final where they will meet Santos Laguna. It is an excellent opportunity for the club to clinch its first title since 1982.
Despite the team's scoreless draw in the first leg of the semifinal, Tigres head coach Ricardo Ferretti named an unchanged lineup, with Danilinho and Hector Mancilla up front, supported by Damian Alvarez and Lucas Lobos.
The big in Queretaro's lineup came with coach Jose Cardozo forced to drop Adolfo Bautista through injury. The Paraguayan coach opted to replace him with Jorge Ibarra. Otherwise, it was the same lineup that failed to breach the Tigres defense at home.
Queretaro took the early initiative in the match knowing it needed a win to advance, and had plenty of possession in Tigres' half. However, Tigres was dangerous going forward, and Danilinho had a volley sail just wide of Liborio Sanchez's goal.
The Brazilian's signaled the start of an open game, as Tigres pushed forward, with the visitors struggling to clear their lines. Queretaro had a penalty shout, only for referee Francisco Chacon to show Hibert Ruiz a yellow card for diving instead.
The game slowed down somewhat as the half reached its midway point. While Tigres continued to apply more pressure, Queretaro soaked it up comfortably and did well to take scare of the ball, keeping the home side on its toes at the back.
Tigres had a golden opportunity to take the lead on 40 minutes as Manuel Viniegra found himself alone on the back post but miscontrolled the ball, allowing Sanchez to corral the ball before the midfielder to rectify his mistake.
However, Viniegra's blushes were spared on the stroke of halftime, when Alvarez swung in a cross that found Queretaro's Lopez Mondragon at the back post, only for the defender to head the attempted clearance into his own goal to put the hosts 1-0 up going into the break.
Tigres, knowing Queretaro would need two goals to advance, started the second half patiently, but their pressure was rewarded when Marco Antonio Jimenez stopped the ball with his arm while on the ground, giving the home side a penalty. Sanchez kept his side in the game though, as he guessed correctly to turn away Mancilla's poorly struck penalty.
Lobos in particular continued to trouble Queretaro, with a chipped shot going just wide not long before he found himself free and in on goal, only for Sanchez to block his effort.
Despite the penalty miss, Tigres did not lose confidence as they gradually retreated further back to defend against Queretaro's inevitable late pressure. Though Tigres goalkeeper Enrique Palos nearly made a mess of a shot from distance deep into injury time, Tigres looked fairly comfortable – helped by a red card to Queretaro's Michel Vasquez for violent conduct – and held on to book their place in the final.