Gignac double sends Mexico’s Tigres into Club World Cup semis

Al-Rayyan (Qatar) (AFP) – Former France striker Andre-Pierre Gignac scored twice as Mexico’s Tigres defeated Asian champions Ulsan Hyundai 2-1 on Thursday to qualify for the semi-finals of the Club World Cup in Qatar.

Tigres, the CONCACAF Champions League winners, will face Copa Libertadores champions Palmeiras of Brazil on Sunday for a spot in next week’s final.

Defender Kim Kee-hee headed Ulsan ahead from a corner in Al-Rayyan, as the South Koreans returned to the Gulf state just six weeks after their triumph in Asia’s top club competition.

Gignac slammed in a volley to level on 38 minutes after a Tigres corner was flicked on by Diego Reyes, and the CONCACAF Champions League winners went ahead in first-half stoppage time.

As Gignac rose to meet another corner his header struck the raised arm of Ulsan centre-back Kim, and Tigres were awarded a penalty following a VAR review.

The ex-Marseille forward smacked the resulting spot-kick low into the corner as Tigres set up a meeting with Palmeiras, who beat Sao Paulo rivals Santos last weekend in the Copa Libertadores final.

No team from the CONCACAF region of North, Central America and the Caribbean has ever reached the Club World Cup final.

Al Duhail, the reigning champions of the host nation, play African Champions League winners Al Ahly later on Thursday for the right to face tournament favourites Bayern Munich in the last four.

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