The Tijuana Xolos played against Monarcas Morelia this Tuesday, March 12, for a game in the Copa MX quarterfinals. The Aztec Canines were the slight favorites heading into the clash, given Club Tijuana’s current form compared to Morelia.
The Xoloitzcuintles were able to get the job done and came away with a 1-0 win at the Estadio Morelos. The game was not an exciting affair as the first half ended scoreless with neither team having many clear opportunities in Michoacan.
The Border City Dogs clearly looked like the better team in the second half as they kept attacking the home team. One of the most impactful substitutions of the match came in the 45th minute as Ariel Nahuelpan replaced young striker Daniel Lopez. Miller Bolanos also replaced the young Antonio Nava as the youngsters were unable to make the impact that the veterans had in this clash.
The first goal of the match finally fell in the 73rd minute of the encounter as Ariel Nahuelpan scored the eventual winning goal. The goal came from a beautifully constructed play as Eryc Castillo passed the ball to Miller Bolanos, who put the ball on a platter for Nahuelpan to finish the opportunity.
The Prehistoric Dogs were able to hang onto the slim lead for the rest of the game as Oscar Pareja played his cards well. The Colombian manager replaced midfielder Diego Gonzalez with centre-back Julian Velazquez, which completely killed off the game.
The final moments of the clash were intense as Monarcas Morelia kept on attacking, but the Xolos backline along with Gibran Lajud did a solid job on retaining the lead. The Xolos advanced to the semifinals of the Copa MX for the first time with the result and will now face the winner of the clash between Club America and Chivas de Guadalajara.
Xolos Lineup: Gibran Lajud, Luis Martinez, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Diego Braghieri, Ignacio Rivero, Kevin Balanta, Diego Gonzalez (85’ Julian Velazquez), Jesus Angulo, Antonio Nava (60’ Antonio Nava), Eryc Castillo, Daniel Lopez (45’ Ariel Nahuelpan)