An early goal by
Argentine Damian Alvarez gave Tigres UANL a 1-0 away win over
10-man Santos Laguna in Torreon in the first leg of the Mexican
Apertura championship final on Thursday.
Tigres took the lead in the seventh minute when left winger
Alvarez raced onto a pass from Chilean striker Hector Mancilla,
beating two defenders to shoot left-footed past goalkeeper
Oswaldo Sanchez from a narrow angle.
Santos were down to 10 men for more than an hour after Juan
Pablo Rodriguez was sent off midway through the first half for a
bad tackle on fellow midfielder Manuel Viniegra.
The Tigres defence, best in the league phase of the
championship when they conceded 13 goals in 17 matches, coped
well with the home side's attack though they had a couple of
Santos striker Oribe Peralta hit the bar with a shot from
outside the box in the first half and five minutes from time
Juan Cardenas crossed low from the left and Peralta lunged
forward but just failed to make contact.
The sides meet again at the Estadio Universitario in the
northern city of Monterrey in the second leg on Sunday when
Tigres will be looking for their third league title and first in
Santos, who have won the title three times since the
1996/97 season, are in their fourth final in two years but lost
the two they played in 2010.
The Mexican season has been divided
into two championships, Apertura and Clausura, since 1996/97.
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