Head coach Ricardo Ferretti (pictured) has guided Tigres to two consecutive Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League finals. (Photo: Mexsport)
VANCOUVER, Canada – According to head coach Ricardo Ferretti, Tigres’ ability to stay cool under pressure was pivotal in Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the second leg of their 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League semifinal.
As a result, UANL – the current Mexican champion -- captured the two-legged series, 4-1 on aggregate, and will face fellow Mexican club Pachuca in the final later this month.
Brek Shea gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead in the third-minute, a moment that Ferretti saw his team’s experience and composure bear fruit.
“I think that the team handled the circumstances well and although they scored an early goal, we did not get desperate,” said Ferretti. “I knew that with the passing of time they would have to look for another goal at minimum for the draw, and that we should stay calm and be organized.
“I think that despite allowing an early goal, we played a good match and I think we were superior in all aspects.”
The win means that Tigres will be heading to a second straight SCCL final, becoming just the fifth team to accomplishment that feat -- Club America (2014/15, 2015/16), Santos (2011/12, 2012/13), Monterrey (2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13) and Cruz Azul (2008/09, 2009/10).
Ferretti expects that the final – which will pit the last two Liga MX champions against each other – will be tight and extremely competitive.
“The match against Pachuca is the most normal of the many matches we are going to have or have had in the Mexican season,” finished the 63-year-old. “Naturally, the only difference is that now it’s for CONCACAF, but we’ve know each other for a long time.
“We have played finals against Pachuca and, naturally, we expect a difficult match. We know Pachuca’s capacity and we should trust in ourselves. It’s the second time that we’ve made the final of this tournament and, hopefully, things go much better so we can be in the Club World Cup.”
Tigres in fell to Club America in last year’s decider, 4-1 on aggregate, while Pachuca is searching for its fifth CONCACAF club crown.