Wilfried Nancy: Columbus Crew 'played with personality' in Tigres draw

  • The Crew found themselves down 1-0 inside 20 minutes after Gignac's opener
  • Diego Rossi leveled the game with a strike just before halftime
  • Aidan Morris' second yellow card saw the Crew hang on for a draw
Tigres were held to a 1-1 draw by the Crew
Tigres were held to a 1-1 draw by the Crew / Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew head coach Wilfried Nancy believed his team 'played with personality' in their 1-1 draw with Tigres in the Concacaf Champions Cup.

The Crew battled back after going down a goal after Tigres legend Andre-Pierre Gignac opened the scoring 18 minutes in. Diego Rossi, who joined Columbus last summer from Turkish giants Fenerbahce, brought the game to level terms just before halftime to give the hosts hope of taking a lead into the second leg.

But it wasn't meant to be, as the Crew rattled in 16 total shots (six on target) that was coupled with 53% possession at Lower.com Field. Tigres managed to strike back toward the end of the match with sustained pressure after Aidan Morris was shown a second yellow card, but Columbus held on for the draw.

Before getting into the specifics of how the match went, Nancy was posed a question about star forward Cucho Hernandez, who missed the first leg and Crew's previous match due to "team policy."

"We just did the game, and we're talking about Cucho? I have no answer for that," Nancy said. "We don't play tennis. We play football. Football, this is 11 players on the pitch. Be patient."

Nancy then dived into the Crew's performance, and how he believed his side played well against a "good" Tigres side.

"Today, we did a good job. Yes, they were efficient on the goal of Gignac, but after that, we controlled the game. We had many chances. We didn’t score more goals. The way we played was a really good game. We played with personality. We won the battle of power with the ball and without the ball.

"We know that Tigres is a good team. We did also a good game, and we are also a good team. The idea is to rest, to prepare for the game against D.C. [United] and we're going to go at Tigres to try to win the game because we play to win games," he said.

With the second leg quickly approaching on April 9, Nancy knows his side will have it tough facing Tigres at their home ground with a trip to the semifinals on the line.

"Regarding the second game, going to have to be smart," he said. "A game is 96 minutes. Again, the idea is going to be to build the game knowing that we know that it's going to be a difficult one. We don't play at home; we play away with the fans and so on. Again, the idea is to focus on the task. We're going to prepare something and try to score the goals that we need. We'll see. The idea is we go there to try to achieve something, and we'll see after that."