Tigres defeats Plaza Amador, nears quarterfinal berth

Tigres' Fernando Fernandez (left) and Jorge Jonathan Espericueta during their Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match against visiting Plaza Amador in San Nicolas de los Garza, Mexico. (Photo: Mexsport)

SAN NICOLAS DE LOS GARZA, Mexico -- Tigres came back from a goal down to increase its lead atop Group G with a 3-1 victory over Plaza Amador in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday night.

Jorge Jonathan Espericueta and Fernando Fernandez each scored their second goals of the competition as the Liga MX side won its second match by a score identical to the first.

Julian Quinones also netted late for the host, which at worst can wrap-up a return to the knockout phase with a win in either of its final two matches.

UANL (2W-0D-0L, 6 points) visits Plaza Amador (0-1-1, 1) on September 28 and welcomes Herediano (0-1-1, 1) on October 18.

Humberto Ward struck first to give the visitor a lead for a second straight SCCL match, yet it remains in search of a win.

Plaza Amador goalkeeper Samuel Castañeda made a pair of errors that led to the match’s decisive goals.

In the 61st minute, Tigres’ Jurgen Damm drove in a cross from the right that deflected off a defender and toward the six-yard box.  Castañeda came off his line in an effort to punch the ball, but did not make solid contact.  Fernandez seized upon the opportunity, poking it into an open net from in close.

Then, in 83rd minute, Castañeda took a back pass and was attempting a clearance as Quinones pressured. Instead, the ball hit directly off Quinones’ leg and trickled inside the right post.

The night began much differently for the Leones as Ward reached a poor backpass and slotted a low finish beyond Enrique Palos in the 22nd minute.

Plaza Amador nearly doubled its lead seven minutes later, when Palos somehow rose off the pitch just in time to block a chance from close range after a promising break down the right.

Tigres leveled a minute before halftime.  Damm rounded the corner past the defending Leonel Jimenez and then tumbled to the ground inside the area to earn a penalty.

Espericueta stepped up and drove home a firm finish that left Hughes no chance.