Tigres forward André-Pierre Gignac under fire after shootout defeat to Wilfried Nancy’s Columbus Crew

Tigres UANL’s French forward André-Pierre Gignac (38) has come in for strong criticism after the Mexican side’s penalty shootout defeat to MLS Champions Columbus Crew in the CONCACAF Champions Cup quarter-final. 

The former Olympique de Marseille striker, who joined Tigres in 2015 and is now the record goalscorer in both their history and the record European-born goalscorer in the history of Liga MX, has been accused of showing a lack of leadership in his team’s defeat, with the Fox Sports journalist Luis Silva echoing the sentiments of the club’s fandom on social media: 

” You can’t take Gignac’s history away from him, but you have to say he has a big responsibility for Tigres’ defeat. Age is weighing on him, even if he doesn’t like being criticised, because he is used to being protected by the press.”

The clamour of social media fans for Gignac to depart or even to retire from the game altogether was deafening, despite the Frenchman scoring in both legs of the tie. Robert Siboldi, the Tigres coach, leapt to the defence of his striker: 

“Gignac and Pizarro are experienced players, but even they are allowed to fail, today is not what we wanted but it is what it is. We need to digest this defeat and turn the page”. 

On the other side of matters was French coach Wilfried Nancy, who coached his team to the first shootout win by a MLS team over a Mexican side. Columbus Crew are reigning MLS Champions, having beaten former Saint-Etienne man Dénis Bouanga’s LAFC in the MLS Cup final in December. Nancy and the Crew will now await to see who they play in the semi-final as they bid to become only the second MLS team in history to win the CONCACAF Champions Cup, after the Seattle Sounders in 2022. 

GFFN | Jack McArdle

 

 

 

More European Football News