Tigres pounce as Vancouver sunk in CONCACAF Champions League

Eduardo Vargas (L) of Mexico's Tigres fights for the ball with Marcel De Jong of Canada's Vancouver Whitecaps during their CONCACAF Champions League semi-final 1st leg match, at the Universitario stadium in Monterrey, on March 14, 2017

Mexican side Tigres UANL took a giant stride towards the final of the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday after defeating Major League Soccer outfit the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 in their semi-final first leg.

An own goal from Costa Rican international Kendall Watson and a late volleyed strike from Chile star Eduardo Vargas sealed a deserved win for Tigres, the beaten finalists in last year's tournament.

After relentless pressure, Vancouver finally succumbed to Tigres on 66 minutes when he diverted a low cross past David Ousted.

Vargas then made it 2-0 three minutes from time, lashing home a loose ball to leave Tigres firmly in control of the tie.

The winners of the CONCACAF Champions League qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup staged in Tokyo each year.

Vancouver's defeat suggests MLS teams' long record of failure in the tournament is set to continue.

Since the tournament was switched to a Champions League format, no MLS side has ever won, with Mexican teams dominating.

The Los Angeles Galaxy were the last MLS team to lift the title in 2000.

Tigres will attempt to seal their return to the final when they face the Whitecaps in Vancouver in the return leg on April 5.

In the other side of the draw, FC Dallas will attempt to break Mexican dominance of the competition when they play Liga-MX side Pachuca in their semi-final first leg on Wednesday.