Led by French international star André-Pierre Gignac, Tigres became the first team to reach the semifinals of the Apertura 2015 season after defeating Jaguares. The Felinos, who finished fifth in the regular season, might be ranked last among the teams still in the competition, but they are undoubtedly the team to beat in what remains of the Liga MX tournament.
They will face their semifinal rival Toluca next Thursday, who played terribly in the quarterfinal against Puebla. In a full 180 minutes plus stoppage time, the Choriceros only played well during the first 45 minutes of the first-leg game, so it’s an understatement to say that Tigres is the favorite to advance to the final. If Tigres does well in the odds, they will face either América or Pumas, neither of which inspires fear, especially after their last games.
And what about Tigres? Well, thanks to Gignac, they passed over Ricardo Lavolpe’s surprising Chiapas doing this:
The Frenchman is on a roll. Since his arrival to Tigres, he has scored 13 goals in 17 matches. His play in Mexico has not gone unnoticed in Europe, as he has also been called to the French national team, where he scored against Germany – and the best goalkeeper in the world, Manuel Neuer – during a friendly game that took place the same day as the Paris terror attacks.
In addition to Gignac, Tigres has Jürgen Damm, the young Mexican sensation who scored in his recent debut with El Tri, as well as Javier Aquino, a skilled Mexican player with European experience. They also boast Nahuel Guzmán, the Argentine national team’s No. 2 goalie. We could go on forever, but you get the point – Tigres has had a great time and chances are they will take the Apertura 2015 title.
Some critics will remember that less than six months ago they lost the Copa Libertadores final, but now Tigres is much more polished than the one that played against River Plate, so I don’t see a second failure happening anytime soon.