The Tijuana Xolos played their 11th game in the Liga MX Clausura 2018 on Saturday as the Aztec Canines suffered a slim 1-0 loss against Tigres UANL.
Diego Cocca opted to use his usual tactics on the road with a very conservative 5-4-1 formation.
The Argentine manager also used an alternate squad ahead of the vital match against the New York Red Bulls next week.
Players like Alejandro Guido, Luis Chavez, and Rubio Rubin received opportunities to start in this match. The border city side had a very clear game plan in place, the objective was to defend. The Xolos’ 35-percent possession was a testament of what Cocca’s tactics were. The Border City Dogs never really had any well-constructed plays going forward.
Club Tijuana finished the match with 12 total shots, but eight were desperate punts from outside of the penalty area. The difference between the two teams was more than clear at the Estadio Universitario. Every attacking play that Tigres created was beautifully constructed and created a real threat to Gibran Lajud’s net. For the most part, Xolos failed to generate a real threat to Nahuel Guzman’s net during the encounter.
Overall the Aztec Canines’ were solid defensively, especially without a rock like Damian Musto in the midfield. However, there was nothing the Xoloitzcuintles could have done to impede the decisive goal in the match. In the 42nd minute of the match, Andre-Pierre Gignac released a potent shot from outside of the box that found the back of the Xolos’ net. The strike left Gibran Lajud motionless and turned out to be the goal that gave the Xolos their third loss this season.
The loss was not surprising at all, but the game could have had a different result had Club Tijuana produced better chances and had better finishing on the day. The Xolos are now currently in seventh place in the Clausura 2018 and will face the Red Bulls in the CCL this Tuesday and Monarcas Morelia this Friday.
— Francisco Velasco (@FranciscoEfV) March 11, 2018
Decisive Moment: Guido’s Miss
Alejandro Guido put in a great effort in this match, but did have a couple of flukes that impacted the match. The San Diego native received a red card in the 80th minute of the match, but missed a great scoring opportunity in the 24th minute as well. The American midfielder was through on goal, and sent his shot wide to the right of Tigres’ net. The game was scoreless at the time of his miss, and had he scored, could have had a significant impact on the match.
Starting Lineup: Gibran Lajud, Michael Orozco, Pablo Aguilar, Jesus Chavez, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Hiram Muñoz, Ignacio Malcorra, Alejandro Guido, Luis Chavez, Julio Angulo, Rubio Rubin
There were seven players that normally do not start in Liga MX games in Diego Cocca’s lineup. The alternate side did provide a solid effort, especially defensively without key players like Damian Perez and Damian Musto. A 1-0 result was definitely not the worst result against a team like Tigres UANL for this Xolos’ side.
Main Talking Point: Depth
It is unclear if a Xolos’ team with all of its starters could have won this game. What is clear is that the alternate squad that was put on the field held its own against one of the best teams in the Liga MX. Club Tijuana has a solid squad and it has been proven this season that it has a decent amount of depth as well.