LAFC’s conquerors Tigres UANL advance to 2020 Club World Cup semifinal against Palmeiras

The 2020 FIFA World Cup is underway, and Concacaf Champions League winners Tigres UANL are one sport away from reaching the international competition’s final.

Tigres, who beat LAFC 2-1 within the one-off CCL championship match this past December, pulled off a 2-1 victory Thursday over South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai FC, the AFC Champions League consultant. The win set up a semifinal on Sunday against Brazil’s Palmeiras, the Copa Libertadores winners.

There have been additional MLS hyperlinks in Thursday’s matchup. The opening goal of the sport arrived within the twenty fourth minute off a header from a corner transformed by former Seattle Sounders MLS Cup-winning center back Kim Kee-hee.

However soon after, French striker Andre Pierre-Gignac, who obtained the winner for Tigres within the 2020 CCL final against LAFC, took over. Gignac scored within the thirty eighth minute and first-half stoppage time, capping the come-from-behind effort.

Gignac first scored off a corner-kick routine himself, then netted a penalty kick after Video Evaluation deemed that Kim dealt with the ball within the 18-yard field. As Liga MX and CCL followers have come to know well, the 35-year-old Gignac made Ulsan Hyundai pay; he now has almost 150 goals since arriving in 2015 from Ligue 1 side Marseille.

Tigres UANL secured their first journey to the Club World Cup having defeated New York City FC within the CCL quarterfinals (5-0 on combination) earlier than knocking off LAFC. Last year’s continental event was paused in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then resumed with an adjusted knockout format in December at Exploria Stadium, home of Orlando City SC.

The 2020 Club World Cup is being played in Qatar, with the opposite semifinalist (both Al-Duhail or Al Ahly) dealing with UEFA Champions League winners and Bundesliga powerhouse side Bayern Munich. The final is scheduled for Feb. 11.

Tigres UANL have been a regional powerhouse in current years, making one other three CCL finals between 2016-19 and taking home the inaugural Campeones Cup in 2018 with a win over Toronto FC at BMO Field. Led by manager Ricardo Ferretti, their team contains Mexico national team stars akin to center back Carlos Salcedo, midfielder Jesus Duenas and winger Javier Aquino.

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