Cole, who has been missing domestically of late due to injury, blasted home an excellent volley with half an hour gone following a cross by Luke Giverin from the left. After a cautious opening, Warren Joyce's team exploded into life with a slick move of real quality with Will Keane and Jesse Lingard heavily involved. Giverin racked up another assist when his deep cross invited Cole to show off his wonderful technique with an exquisite first-time finish.
Will Keane, who shrugged off a knock, came close to doubling the lead on a number of occasions and was unlucky not to increase his run of scoring in every game in the tournament. Indeed, one effort in the final seconds looked destined to find the net, only to curl off target.
Mexican outfit Tigres were last year's finalists and proved predictably tough rivals but the Reds' passing game ensured a degree of control over the proceedings and Sam Johnstone was able to keep a second clean sheet in the competition.
Everton, the Reserves' last opponents in the league before the flight out to the States, now stand in the way of a place in the final. The last-four clash with the Toffees takes place on Good Friday and Ross Barkley is likely to be a threat after earning some rave reviews for his work in Texas.