The Tijuana Xolos continued their preseason at the Estadio Caliente this Wednesday, July 1o, as the Aztec Canines hosted Argentine team Boca Juniors. The game was set to be a spectacle for the fans as Boca Juniors one of the biggest teams in the world and arguably among the top two teams in the southern hemisphere.
Ticket prices were dropped before the game, and there was a good turnaround at the Mictlan for the friendly match. There was a decent amount of Boca Juniors fans looming around the Estadio Caliente as the Argentine fans generated a very good atmosphere with drums and chants.
The local Xolos supporters group also kept the atmosphere lively with drums, trumpets, chants, flags, and flares. Boca Juniors captain Carlos Tevez was honored before the start of the game as the organizers of the event presented the veteran striker with some gifts.
The first half of the game did not prove to be a spectacle, although the Xoloitzcuintles did play much better than the visiting team. The Xolos seemed to work quite well with new players on the field and were competing against a very talented Boca Juniors team.
The Xoloitzcuintles revealed their new uniforms for the 2019 Apertura season at half time and went on to play the second half with the new home kit. The jerseys started going on sale at half time as fans rushed to the concessions to get ahold of the brand new black and red kit.
The second half was better than the first as both teams had some clear scoring opportunities. The closest for Boca Juniors came when defender Paolo Goltz nearly headed the ball in the back of the net off a corner kick. Alexis Mac Allister also came close to scoring for the Buenos Aires club in the 78th minute with a shot off a free kick, but Gibran Lajud came to the rescue with a spectacular save.
The Xolos finally breached the score in the 87th minute as Miller Bolanos fired a shot from inside of the box that was deflected by the Boca Juniors goalkeeper and made its way into the back of the net. The Xolos were able to maintain the 1-0 lead as the home fans enjoyed the victory against one of the best teams to step foot on the Estadio Caliente.
Club Tijuana also received a special trophy for winning the game by the organizers of the event as the Xoloitzcuintles are now the proud owners of the Copa Roma.
The night ended with the Xolos’ supporters group chanting away and a free concert for the fans that stayed after the final whistle. The atmosphere was almost identical to a Liga MX game, and there were several positives to take in from Club Tijuana’s performance on the pitch.
Xolos’ Lineup: Gibran Lajud, Omar Mendoza, Julian Velazquez, Diego Braghieri, Kevin Balanta, Ignacio Rivero, Leonel Miranda, Washinton Camacho, Miller Bolanos, Camilo Sanvezzo, Ariel Nahuelpan
Manager Oscar Pareja used a strong lineup for the game and also used some of the offseason signings in this match. Camilo Sanvezzo made his debut with the border city team, while “Lolo” Miranda and Washington Camacho also played. It was interesting to see Kevin Balanta play as a fullback, but he did perform well as Oscar Pareja used a 4-4-2 formation.
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.