The Tijuana Xolos have been out of town for 10 days as the border city side has played three consecutive games away from home.
Oddly enough all three games ended 1-1. The first was a Copa MX game in Cancun against Atlante, then came two games against Puebla at the Estadio Cuauhtémoc. One was a game in the fourth week of the Liga MX, while the game played this Tuesday was a game in the fourth round of matches in the Copa MX. The Xolos had been doing decently in the Copa MX, leading their group with four points. The Aztec Canines achieved their only win under Eduardo Coudet against Puebla in the second round of matches in the Copa MX. This time around, the border city side was not so lucky and just took a point back home.
Eduardo Coudet went with a 4-2-3-1 formation for the game, the same he used in that Liga MX clash last Friday. Jose Antonio Rodriguez was in net with Matias Aguirregaray, Hiram Munoz, Alejandro Donatti, and Juan Carlos Nunez making up the back line. The two holding midfielders were Alejandro Guido and Enzo Kalinski, with Mauricio Cuero and Matias Pisano playing out on the wings. 19-year-old Tijuana native Cesar Crespo played in behind the lone striker Henry Martin. Of course, the standout inclusion was the youngster Cesar Crespo, who was starting his first game with Club Tijuana and was playing in just his second game with the main squad. Another intriguing modification was Mauricio Cuero, who was playing in his first game with the Xolos since the first Liga MX game of the season against Cruz Azul.
From before the initial whistle, this game had an uneventful atmosphere about it. The weather was as bad as the turnout at the Estadio Cuauhtémoc, which was a woeful 2,616 spectators. The game was delayed early on because of the weather as there was hail and a thunderstorm brewing in Puebla. The game was resumed quickly and the first half was exciting, with two goals in it. The home team opened the scoring in the 42nd minute, a cross by Carlos Salom inside the box found Leonel Aguirre who released a strike that was stopped by Antonio Rodriguez. Pablo Miguez was right there on the rebound, however, and found the back of the net to make it 1-0 for La Franja. Los Xolos retaliated almost immediately as club captain Juan Carlos Nunez found the back of Puebla’s net with a potent inside-of-the-box shot. The half remained 1-1 and there was promise heading into halftime.
Unfortunately, the second half was a lackluster display by both teams as there were very few opportunities, and the soccer being played on the pitch was not of top-circuit teams. Eduardo Coudet made a couple of modifications that seemed almost non-existent. Joe Corona replaced the youngster Cesar Crespo in the 59th minute and Edgar Ivan Lopez replaced Mauricio Cuero in the 70th minute. Both changes did not have any impact on the game and the encounter was very stale with non-enticing play on the pitch.
The small crowd at the Estadio Cuauhtémoc was infuriated and started chanting “Fuera Chiquis” translated to “Out with Chiquis” directed at Puebla’s manager, Rafael “Chiquis” Garcia. These are two teams that are struggling massively and the lackluster game was fitting of what their seasons have been like. Much like the crowd at the Estadio Caliente that started jeering its players after the 3-0 loss against Monterrey, the crowd at the Estadio Cuauhtémoc was not pleased.
There was really not a single standout player as no one on the Xolos looked impressive during the game. The important thing to consider is that the border city side now has a foot in the door to the knockout stages of the Copa MX. Club Tijuana has not played a single game well this season, but is undefeated in the Copa MX with a win and two draws. The results have been respectable, but have come against very weak oppositions in Atlante and Puebla, showcasing the problems within the team. The result was positive towards getting to the knockout stages of the Copa MX, but the overall product on the pitch was a disappointment, and much of the same that has been seen by Club Tijuana.