This Friday, March 3, 2023, the Tijuana Xolos hosted Atlas at the Estadio Caliente for a game in the tenth round of matches in the Liga MX 2023 Clausura.
Club Tijuana was headed into this match after an important 2-0 win against Pachuca and was looking to extend its home win streak to three games.
Xolos failed to extend the win streak but did come away with a point as the Aztec Canines and Zorros played to a 1-1 draw at the Mictlan. Manager Miguel Herrera once again tinkered with his lineup as Rodrigo Parra replaced the injiured Rodrigo Godinez in the backline. Lisandro Lopez did not play as a defensive midfielder in this match as “Piojo” deployed a five-man backline with Lopez in the middle of it.
Xolos goalkeeper Toño Rodriguez gave a lot of credit to Atlas when asked about his thoughts about the match. Makes sense since he was worked a lot in the match. #Xolos #LigaMXeng pic.twitter.com/6Ai4aNaGLA
— Francisco Velasco (@FranciscoEfV) March 4, 2023
Xolos had the first significant opportunity in the match; eight minutes into it, a long ball by Rodrigo Parra found Lucas Cavallini, who sailed the sphere well over Camilo Vargas’ net. The Canadian striker remained persistent as he stole a ball in the 10th minute and sent a cross into Atlas’ penalty area.
Lisandro Lopez made contact with the sphere, and it ended up finding Federico Lertora, who was unable to come up with a shot in front of net. The visiting team was able to strike first on the scoreboard as Julio Furch made it a 1-0 game for Atlas in the 16th minute of the match. The goal came off a well-constructed play by Ozziel Herrera and Jeremy Marquez, who sent the ball to Furch in the Xolos’ penalty area to open the scoring.
Club Tijuana goalkeeper Antonio Rodriguez had an excellent match, and his first big save of the game came in the 35th minute as the Mexican shot-stopper saved a potent strike from Brian Lozano. In the 38th minute, Rodriguez had another important save as he stopped another powerful shot from Lozano, this time off a free-kick.
Just before the end of the first half, Lucas Cavallini scored for the Xoloitzcuintles to tie the game up at the border city stadium. The goal came off an assisted header by Nicolas Diaz, off a corner kick very well-executed by midfielder Leonel Lopez. This was Cavallini’s first goal with the Prehistoric Dogs, as the Canadian striker was clearly one the standouts for Xolos in the first half of the match.
The first half ended 1-1 with plenty of scoring opportunities for both teams, but the second half grew a bit stale as Club Tijuana finished the second half with no shots on target. Antonio Rodriguez continued with his impressive performance as he stopped a header by Julian Quinones in the 66th minute of the match. In the 73rd minute, Toño saved another strike by Quinones to maintain the 1-1 scoreline for Tijuana.
The biggest opportunity for the border city team in the second half came in the 67th minute of the encounter as a potent shot by Fernando Valenzuela went just wide of the visitor’s net. Atlas kept on pressing in the dying minutes of the match but was unable to add to its lead as the game ended in a deadlock 1-1 draw at the Estadio Caliente.
The point propelled Miguel Herrera’s team to 10th place at the time of writing, as Club Tijuana will remain in the top 12 by the end of matchday 10.
Man of the match
The Mexican goalkeeper was honored as man of the match of the game by the Liga MX as he put in a very significant performance at the Mictlan. Rodriguez had five total saves in the match, including some vital saves against Brian Lozano and Julian Quinones of Atlas. The 30-year-old shot-stopper was clearly motivated by his call-up to the Mexico national team as his saves helped Xolos gain the point from the match.
The Club Tijuana goalkeeper talked about the draw as he said, “The rivals played a good game, they have very good footballers. They generated certain dangerous attacking plays. At the end of the day, we did our job, but the rivals also play a role.”
The Canadian striker expressed his frustration about Xolos not being able to come away with the three points. Cavallini said, “It’s an obligation to win at home. The truth is we leave with a bitter taste in our mouths. We lost two key points. However, there is still a lot ahead, and we played a good game.”
Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres’ 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.