Tigres players (pictured) celebrate after scoring against visiting Plaza Amador in a Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match on August 24, 2016, in San Nicolas de los Garza, Mexico. (Photo: CA-Images)
SAN NICOLAS DE LOS GARZA, Mexico – With a win over host Plaza Amador (0W-1D-2L, 1 point) on Wednesday night, Tigres (2-0-0, 6) can book a trip to the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals for the third time.
Anything less and the 2015/16 runner-up will open the Group G door for idle Herediano (1-1-1, 4), setting the stage for a dramatic showdown between the sides on October 18.
Although Plaza Amador has been eliminated from contention, Tigres head coach Ricardo Ferretti promises that his side will avoid complacency.
“We are going to face an opponent against which we should be very cautious and look for the passage to the quarterfinals,” the 62-year-old said.
Ferretti highlighted the fact that local-rival Monterrey was ousted from the competition after losing twice to Panama’s Arabe Unido. He doesn’t want UANL to fall victim to the same fate, even pointing out that the chasm between Mexican and Central American squads is not as wide as many would think.
“How is [Mexican football] above?” quizzed Ferretti. “I don’t believe it because Monterrey was eliminated and they are one of Mexico’s biggest teams.”
On the domestic front, Tigres continue to enjoy a fine season. As the only unbeaten squad (6-5-0, 23) in the 2016 Liga MX Apertura, it currently sits second – one point behind Club Tijuana – and has conceded a league-low four goals.
Ferretti thinks another win will ensure a spot in the playoffs, but he wants more than a seat at the postseason table.
“[Having 26 points] is a good number, but it does not assure you the top places,” he finished. “We want to qualify in the best way.”