Tigres' Andy Delort (pictured) celebrates after scoring against host Pumas in a Liga MX Apertura match on October 23, 2016, in Mexico City. (Photo: Straffon Images)
SAN NICOLAS DE LAS GARZA, Mexico – Just four days after topping Herediano, 3-0, to earn a spot in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, Tigres returned to its winning ways in the 2016 Liga MX on Sunday with a 3-1 victory at Pumas.
The triumph ended third-place UANL’s three-game winless streak in the Apertura, which included two straight losses.
Tigres and Pumas will also meet in the SCCL quarterfinals next year.
“Always, when you win, you have a happier work week,” said Tigres head coach Ricardo Ferretti. “It’s not the same mindset when you draw or lose as to when you win. When you win, people feel more confident, more energized to work. But independent of each week’s results, it’s a professional team and separates itself to the utmost. I hope that we work conscientiously, preparing ourselves in the best way possible to face [Monterrey].”
There will be plenty at stake on Saturday when the rivals square off at the Estadio Universitario. If host and third-place Tigres (7W-5D-2L, 26 points) is to maintain a reasonable hope of catching table-topping Club Tijuana (9-3-2. 30) it must defeat 11th-place Monterrey (4-6-4, 18 points), which sits three points off the playoff pace.
Ferretti, however, is fully cognizant that rivalry with the Rayados is about more than just points and positioning.
“There is no one that does not know what it is to play in this match,” the 62-year-old finished. “Of the 17 [regular-season games], it’s the most important because it is a Clásico. Pride and tradition are at play. It’s not something to die for because it doesn’t go that far. But we know that many things are in play for all of us who participate in this ‘fiesta’ and we are not oblivious to anything.”