Sharp Tigres tops Pumas, eyes Liga MX playoff spot

Andre-Pierre Gignac celebrates after scoring against visiting Pumas in a Liga MX Clausura match on April 15, 2017, in San Nicolas de los Garza, Mexico. (Photo: Andrea Jimenez/Straffon Images)

SAN NICOLAS DE LOS GARZA, Mexico – Tigres (5W-4D-5L, 19 points) scored three goals in the second half to earn a 4-0 victory over Pumas (5-3-6, 18) in a 2017 Liga MX Clausura encounter on Saturday before a crowd of 41,396 at the Estadio Universitario.

With the result, the defending champion jumped into ninth place, one point behind eight-place Pachuca (5-5-4. 20). Coincidentally, not only are those same sides battling each other for a playoff berth, they will also square off in the first leg of the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League final on Tuesday.

After Ismael Sosa gave Tigres a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute, substitute Jurgen Damm spurred a second-half surge by scoring two straight goals (53’, 65’) within 20 minutes of the restart. France international Andre-Pierre Gignac (75’) punctuated the scoreline with his team-high fifth goal of the season, expertly placing a right-footed shot inside the lower-right post from 16-yards out.

Earlier in the year, UANL – which has now won two straight Clausura games by the combined score of 7-0 – upended Pumas in the SCCL quarterfinals, 4-1 on aggregate.