Welcome to your match thread for a Wednesday night, second-leg, Concacaf Champions League match-up between Orlando City and Tigres UANL of Liga MX at Exploria Stadium at 8:15 p.m. (FOX Sports 2, TUDN). It’s the second meeting ever between the teams and the second time in eight days.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match.
Last Tuesday’s meeting at Estadio Universitario in the Monterrey area was the first meeting between the two sides and just the second time Orlando City has faced Liga MX competition. That match in Mexico ended in a 0-0 draw, despite what seemed like 30 shots by Andre-Pierre Gignac.
The Lions are experiencing just their second international cup competition, having faced a Liga MX side just once previously — a 1-0 loss to Santos Laguna at home in the 2021 Leagues Cup.
So, Orlando City has yet to score a goal against a Mexican side. If that doesn’t change tonight, the best the Lions can hope for is a 0-0 draw and will need to win a penalty shootout to advance. The only other scenario in which Orlando can advance is winning the game outright.
Tigres has been to Exploria Stadium before, winning the 2020 CCL title with a 2-1 victory over LAFC. That match was played in Orlando during the pandemic. That was obviously not a true road match. City will enter tonight with its own crowd in the stands and one more day of rest than the visitors — the latter is a reverse of the situation in the first leg.
Orlando City is coming off a 1-1 road draw at D.C. United on Saturday night at Audi Field. Rookie Duncan McGuire scored the Lions’ first goal from open play in all competitive matches in 2023, deflecting home a perfectly headed cross from newcomer Dagur Dan Thorhallsson in the second half. Unfortunately, Chris Durkin leveled the game 10 minutes from the end of normal time.
Most of Orlando’s starters should be well rested enough to go the full 90 if need be, as Oscar Pareja rotated his squad on the weekend. Some key starters played 45 minutes, although iron man Rodrigo Schlegel continues to log minutes at an alarming pace. That said, Antonio Carlos was on the bench Saturday and could feature tonight.
Tigres also got some rest for some key starters, but it was costly. Club America went to Tigres and won 2-0 on the weekend. Some important players, such as attacking midfielder Fernando Gorriarán — who was a problem for Orlando last week — and central defender Samir went the full distance. However, the Mexican side was able to get some rest for the likes of Sebastián Córdova, Jesus Garza, Juan Vigon, and Diego Lainez. Córdova and Garza each played half the match on Sunday, while Vigon and Lainez came off just past the hour mark. Nicolás López played 83 minutes.
The Lions shouldn’t have to worry about Gignac unless he changed his stance on vaccinations. Gignac’s COVID-19 vaccine status was expected to keep him from entering the country for this match.
Manager Marco Antonio Ruiz deploys his Tigres troops in either a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2 formation. Even without Gignac, Tigres has plenty of firepower, including Uruguayan international Gorriarán, Córdova, and striker Nicolás Ibáñez. At the other end of Tigres’ formation, veteran Nahuel “Patón” Guzmán is one of the best goalkeepers in Liga MX.
“As you know this is still a young team, but with very passionate supporters and the culture they have developed is very good,” Pareja said ahead of the match. “We came in to be the protagonists of MLS these last three years, we already won a championship, and to enter a competition for the first time against Tigres we also had to install a good plan. Tigres is going to find a team with a lot of courage, with passionate fans, and surely we’ll do everything we can to go through to the next round because we’re optimistic and we know we can do this.”
Orlando City’s availability report is clean entering tonight’s match.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.
Defenders: Luca Petrasso, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Michael Halliday.
Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Mauricio Pereyra.
Attacking Midfielders: Ivan Angulo, Martin Ojeda, Facundo Torres.
Forward: Ramiro Enrique.
Bench: Mason Stajduhar, Rafael Santos, Kyle Smith, Abdi Salim, Antonio Carlos, Felipe, Wilder Cartagena, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, Gaston Gonzalez, Shakur Mohammed, Duncan McGuire, Ercan Kara.
Goalkeeper: Nahuel Guzmán.
Defenders: Jesús Angulo, Samir, Igor Lichnovsky, Javier Aquino.
Midfielders: Luis Quiñones, Rafael Carioca, Guido Pizarro, Fernando Gorriarán.
Forwards: Sebastián Córdova, Nicolas Ibañez.
Bench: Miguel Ortega, Arturo Delgado, Diego Reyes, Eduardo Tercero, Vladimir Lorona, Diego Lainez, Jesus Garza, Raymundo Fulgencio, Juan Pablo Vigon, Sebastian Fierro, Nicolas Lopez, Leonel Prieto.
Ref: Said Martinez (HON).
AR1: Walter Lopez (HON).
AR2: Henri Pupiro (NCA).
4th: Selvin Brown (HON).
VAR: Tatiana Guzman (NCA).
AVAR: Shirley Perello (HON).
How to Watch
Match Time: 8:15 p.m. ET.
Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando.
TV: FOX Sports 2, TUDN.
Streaming: The match can be streamed on FOX Sports GO, the FOX Sports app TUDN.com, and the TUDN app.
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City's official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).
Enjoy the match. Go City!