Andre-Pierre Gignac added to his legend at Tigres UANL, with his two goals sending the Mexican power to the semifinals at the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar.
Tigres beat Asian champion Ulsan Hyundai, 2-1, on Thursday, setting up a semifinal showdown vs. Copa Libertadores winner Palmeiras on Sunday.
Tigres beat LAFC in the Concacaf Champions League final–on Gignac's late goal–to reach the Club World Cup, and it was another player with some MLS ties that opened the scoring for Ulsan Hyundai. Former Seattle Sounders defender Kim Kee-hee completed a near-post run and glanced home a header off a corner kick in the 24th minute.
Kim was on the wrong end of the next two goals, though. First, Tigres equalized off a corner kick of their own, with Gignac losing Kim and getting free at the far post to volley home a flicked-on header.
Kim was then guilty of a handball, caught by video review, just before halftime. That gifted Gignac the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot.
Ulsan Hyundai had a gorgeous would-be equalizer ruled out for offside, with Yoon Bit-garam just a step off before settling a ball over the top with his chest and turning to volley in one motion.
Tigres prevailed, though, and will look to become the first Concacaf participant to reach the final. European clubs have dominated the competition that features the continental champions from around the world, winning 12 of the 16 titles (and 12 of the last 13). Brazilian sides account for the other four.
Bayern Munich looms on the other side of the bracket and is the favorite to win it for a second time (2013).