Tigres taking things one step at a time

Hugo Ayala (yellow jersey) and Tigres have started the 2016/17 season on an 12-game unbeaten run in all competitions. (Photo: Mexsport) 

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Tigres maintained its place atop the 2016 Liga MX Apertura table after a 1-0 win over host Guadalajara on Tuesday. 

With the result, after 10 rounds, UANL (6W-4D-0L, 22) continues as the only unbeaten team and maintains a one-point lead over second-place Club Tijuana. It’s also 2-0-0 in 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League play and can clinch a quarterfinal berth with a win at Plaza Amador on September 28.

Although the pursuit of an undefeated season can become a distraction, Tigres prefers to take things one step at a time.

“The team prepares itself day-to-day to win each match,” said defender Hugo Ayala. “If as a consequence the unbeaten record happens, it is welcomed, but it is not an obsession. Our mentality is match-to-match, with respect to the opponent and going out to win each match. The strategies of opponents is different, but what we focus on is winning.”

 As the campaign carries on, Tigres’ objectives of qualifying for the domestic playoffs and advancing to the SCCL knockout rounds for a second straight year are clearly in sight.

Ayala is confident that his team can live up to expectations.

“We have to work in the same way,” the Mexico international concluded. “We have to give everything of ourselves. It’s the only way of strengthening that label as favorite. There is nothing left but to show it on the field.

Next for Tigres is a Liga MX meeting against 13th-place visitor Cruz Azul (2-5-3) on Saturday.