Tigres and Guadalajara came ready to play Wednesday night in their first Group B match of InterLiga 2006 at Reliant Stadium, scoring an amazing five goals in the first half alone. Chivas' 5-3 win tied an InterLiga single-game goals record set by Atlante and Santos, who played to a 4-4 tie in Los Angeles on Jan. 8, 2005.
Aldo de Nigris did all he could to help Tigres win by posting a hat trick, scoring in the 1st, 21st and 71st minutes. But Chivas' offense proved too much, scoring three time in the first half by Edwin Barboa in the 18th, Adolfo Bautista in the 34th and Ramon Morales in the 42nd. Then Chivas added a pair in the second half to insure the win with Morales scoring his second goal by way of a penalty in the 61st and Gonzalo Pineda getting a goal in his debut in the 68th minute.
De Nigris opened the scoring by receiving the ball in the middle of box, leaving Chivas 'keeper Oswaldo Sanchez in no man's land, where he calmly scored with a left-footed shot.
Chivas struck back after the game calmed down. After swinging in a nice corner which was met with a header that fell to Borboa, who easily scored from point-blank range in the 18th minute.
The entertaining first half could have seen many more goals as both teams' defenders had trouble clearing the ball out of their own end.
De Nigris put Tigres ahead with his second goal. He brought the ball up to top right corner of box, took a smooth cut back and hit a world-class stroke with his left foot, burying it in the far corner.
Tigres players found each other with skill and accuracy in the attack playing through balls and first-time heel flicks with a good degree of accuracy.
De Nigris was a handful for the Chivas defense, making another stab at goal that trickled just wide right in the 30th minute.
Chivas kept their composure with some great passing. Barboa played a clean pass to Bautista right at the goalmouth, sending the ball to the back of the net in the 35th minute to tie the match at 2-2.
The wild first half ended as it began with Chivas teeing up a freekick in the 42nd minute from just outside the corner of the box that Morales curled with his left foot into the top right corner beyond the outstretched Tigres goalkeeper, Edgar Hernandez.
The onslaught continued into the second half as Chivas was fouled in the box in the 61st minute to set up a penalty which was sent home easily by Morales.
Chivas continued to pile on the pressure as Morales played a nice ball from the endline back to Pineda in the 68th minute where he was able beat Hernandez.
Seemingly out of the game with a 5-2 deficit, Tigres maintained their attack as Jesus Palacios sent in a curling cross that found De Nigris wide open on the back post in the 71st minute where he beat Sanchez with a well-placed header.
Earlier, in the opening match of InterLiga 2006, Necaxa got some lucky breaks to pull out a 1-0 win over Cruz Azul at Reliant Stadium.
Alfredo Moreno scored the game's only goal in the 52nd minute as a long cross caught the Cruz Azul defense off guard and a simple header across the goalmouth set up the strike.
The first half was dominated by Cruz Azul. Necaxa found themselves chasing most of the half as they were outshot 12-5.
Cruz Azul nearly took an early lead in the 12th minute as Gabriel Pereyra found himself wide open in the box, but his shot was forced wide on a diving save of Necaxa 'keeper Ivan Vazquez.
Referee Terry Vaughn made sure the game stayed clean doling out an early yellow in the 15th minute to Cruz Azul's Gerardo Torrado following a hard tackle.
Necaxa kept Cruz Azul at bay with some clean tackles and a few tactical fouls that killed any flow or rhythm Cruz Azul put together going forward.
The Cementeros were dangerous from many angles in the first half, with defender Alberto Rodriguez pushing up to force a one-handed save from Vazquez with a fierce left footed shot from outside the area in the 20th minute.
Necaxa's defense had their hands full as the first half wound down, Franscisco Fonseca beat his marker in the 42nd minute freeing space for a shot from the end line that was deflected by Necaxa 'keeper Vazquez.
The Hidrorayos pushed the momentum into their favor after a high floater across the box where the ball was headed to Moreno, who took a touch away from the goal and made a nice swirling shot to beat the outstretched arms of Cruz Azul 'keeper Oscar Perez for the lead in the 54th minute.
Necaxa took control of the match following the goal, although Cruz Azul did create some dangerous chances down the stretch.
The best chance for the Cementeros was a one-on-one chance created by a Fonseca's wall pass to Gabriel Pereyra in the 62nd minute, but his close-range shot was blocked by an oncoming Vazquez.