San Diego, California
The Tijuana Xolos played Club América at SDCCU Stadium on Saturday in a club friendly match.
Las Aguilas were clearly the home team in the encounter with the immense presence of their fans at the venue.
The atmosphere was vibrant during the match, and hours before it. Fans from both sets of teams were tailgating outside of the stadium with Carne Asada and musical groups as well. Money was being spent everywhere as fans scrambled for jerseys and other items of their favorite team.
The passion and intensity felt at SDCCU Stadium was one that had not been shown at the fortress for quite some time. This event showcased the potential professional soccer can have in a city like San Diego.
The game started off very exciting as Miller Bolaños scored in just the seventh minute of the encounter to give Xolos a 1-0 lead. The Aztec Canines added to that lead before the end of the first half when Ignacio Malcorra scored from the penalty spot to make it a 2-0 game.
Club Tijuana was flying high at the end of the first half with a 2-0 lead against a respectable America team. The second half was distinct from the first half as Club America stepped up for the thousands of faithful Azulcrema fans at SDCCU Stadium.
— Francisco Velasco (@FranciscoEfV) March 25, 2018
The players on the pitch were also very different as both managers opted to give minutes to their bench players. Alejandro Diaz cut the deficit for the Mexico City team and made it a 2-1 scoreline in the 57th minute. The Xolos looked to have the game under control with a much stronger team on the field than Las Aguilas. However, Miguel Herrera’s alternate players never gave up and kept the 2-1 score until the 90th minute. Former Xolos’ midfielder and San Diego native Joe Corona miraculously scored a free kick in stoppage time. The goal was almost out of a movie script in Corona’s hometown against his former team in the dying minutes of the match. The score left both sets of fans satisfied as the Mexican teams put in a respectable effort despite it being just a friendly match.
Man of The Match: Joe Corona
The decisive moment of that match was the free kick goal by Joe Corona that tied up the game in the final moments of the game. The former Sweetwater high school student was also one of the few players that played the entire match for either team. Corona had many memorable moments with Club Tijuana in the past, but this was one of his first key moments as a Club America player.
— Club América (@ClubAmerica) March 25, 2018
Main Talking Point: Win For San Diego
Joe Corona was the standout player from the game, and even wore the captain’s armband at one point of the match for Los Azulcremas. San Diego native Alejandro Guido wore the captain’s armband for the Tijuana Xolos for the entire first half as well and put in a solid effort in the midfield. The atmosphere really exceeded expectations as the fans really turned up for the game and generated a spectacle. There is a push for professional soccer in San Diego and this is another event that showcased that this city would really benefit from it.
Alejandro Guido talked about his experience as a whole as he captained the Xolos in his hometown of San Diego at SDCCU Stadium. Guido said, “It’s a very special moment, something you dream about as a kid”. The American midfielder also talked about the result and said, “I think at the end of the day, the team played very well and we actually put the ball in the back of the net, which changes the whole game. Other games we were frustrated because we were doing good things, we were playing well but we were just not putting it in the back of the net.”
Joe Corona talked about his big moment at SDCCU Stadium and said, “It was special. If there was someone that had to do it I think it was me because what it means to be in my hometown, having my family, friends, and a lot of people from my ex-team that have supported me through the years. I think it was special and I dedicate that goal to all of San Diego.
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.