The Tijuana Xolos started their 2019 Clausura season this Saturday, Jan.4, as Oscar Pareja had a rough start to his Liga MX managing career. The Border City Dogs lost 2-0 at the Estadio Akron against Chivas de Guadalajara to begin the new campaign with a left foot.
The game started off slowly as the first half ended scoreless in Guadalajara with Chivas controlling possession, but neither team really looking dominant. New Xolo’ signing Diego Braghieri was one of the standouts in the first half along with midfielder Luis Chavez, but there were also a handful of poor performances on the pitch as well. Ignacio Rivero was struggling in the right-back slot, youngster Antonio Nava looked lost on the field along with Argentine striker Juan Martin Lucero.
The second half started out with a similar pace, but Chivas looked like the better team and that eventually led to a goal by the home team in the 55th minute. Isaac Brizuela crossed the ball inside of the penalty box to Alan Pulido, who headed it past Gibran Lajud to give Los Rojiblancos a 1-0 lead.
The Tijuana Xolos could not get anything going after the goal as Juan Martin Lucero, Fabian Castillo and the offense were stagnant. Omar Mendoza replaced Antonio Nava in the 63rd minute to allow Ignacio Rivero to go further up the pitch, but Rivero could also not generate much attacking play. Rivero was then replaced by Eryc Castillo in the 74th minute and Miller Bolanos Came on for Luis Chavez in the 77th minute.
These substitutions proved to be ineffective as the Xolos’ attacked showed some of the same problems it had with Diego Cocca as the manager. Oscar Pareja’s team could not generate anything then went on to concede a second goal in stoppage time to Isaac Brizuela. The Xolos’ backline was wide open and Josecarlos Van Rankin ran right through it and gave the ball to Brizuela, who chipped it over Gibran Lajud to seal the 2-0 scoreline.
The result was a grim way to start the new season for Oscar Pareja and Xolos, who will now have a tremendously difficult home-opener against Tigres UANL next Saturday at the Estadio Caliente.
Xolos’ Starting Lineup: Gibran Lajud, Ignacio Rivero (74′ Eryc Castillo), Julian Velazquez, Diego Braghieri, Luis Fuentes, Diego Rodriguez, Diego Gonzalez, Luis Chavez (77′ Miller Bolanos), Antonio Nava (63′ Omar Meendoza) , Fabian Castillo, Juan Martin Lucero