Tigres head coach Ricardo Ferretti (pictured) speaks to the media after the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League final, second leg on April 26, 2017, in Pachuca, Mexico. (Photo: Mexsport)
PACHUCA, Mexico – It may have fallen in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League for a second consecutive year, but Tigres is as motivated as ever to qualify for a FIFA Club World Cup.
UANL dropped a 1-0 decision to Pachuca on Wednesday in the second leg of the 2016/17 final to lose the series, 2-1 on aggregate. Last year, it stumbled 4-1 against Club America.
The current Mexican champion is already assured a berth in the 2018 SCCL, a fact that heartens head coach Ricardo Ferretti.
“There is no one who feels a distinct way. I think that the players, coaching staff and directors feel sad,” said the 63-year-old. “The quest has been made to play in the Club World Cup and we have not achieved it, but we are not going to stop. We have to look to fix certain things and, in the next one, achieve it.”
Wednesday’s match, like last week’s first leg, had all of the drama one would expect in a CONCACAF final. Both teams were aggressive and Tigres came achingly close to opening the scoring with two blasts from Andre-Pierre Gignac, only to see the first saved by Pachuca goalkeeper Alfonso Blanco and the second crashing off the crossbar.
Ferretti could only shrug at his team’s misfortune.
“I expected a match like this because they have very good players,” he finished. “They have a very capable manager and, in even matches like this, one always hopes to take away an advantage as the visitor. We had opportunities, not just one or two or three. We even missed a penalty [in the first leg], but that’s football.”