This Friday, June 31 Eduardo Coudet officially began his reign with the Tijuana Xolos as the border city side traveled a couple of hours south to face Cuervos JAP for a friendly match in Ensenada.
The match was the first friendly match for the Xolos this offseason, and the first official match for Eduardo Coudet who is now in charge of Club Tijuana. This was set to be a rather easy test for the Argentine manager, as Cuervos JAP of Ensenada is in the third tier of Mexican soccer, and has nowhere near the quality of players as the Tijuana Xolos.
“El Chacho” Coudet had an intriguing lineup for the game with many of the latest signings in the starting 11. Gibran Lajud started in between the sticks with Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Damian Perez, Emmanuel Aguilera and Juan Carlos Nunez making the defense. The midfield consisted of Alejandro Guido, Enzo Kalinski and Luis Chavez, while the front three were Mauricio Cuero, Ignacio Malcorra and Juan Martin Lucero. This was Emmanuel Aguilera’s first official match since week 9 of the Liga MX Clausura 2017, and he and the Xolos back line had a solid game, keeping a clean sheet. While Paul Arriola and Joe Corona were out on international duty with the United States, there was still a San Diego presence on the team in Chula Vista native, Alejandro Guido.
The Xolos did not blow away their opponents and obtained a narrow 1-0 win with a goal by the full-back, Damian Perez.
The goal came in the 31st minute and was a beautifully orchestrated play with Mauricio Cuero providing a cross on the right-wing that found Ignacio Malcorra on the half-moon of the penalty area. Malcorra shielded the ball which allowed Damian Perez to come bolting in and fire a potent strike that found the bottom right-hand corner of Ensenada’s net.
In the second half, Coudet brought on a completely different starting 11 than in the first half to give the entire squad some playing time. Some of the notables that were present in final 45 minutes of the games include the goalkeeper, Jose Antonio Rodriguez, Michael Orozco, Hiram Munoz, Luis Angel Mendoza and Henry Martin.
The rest of the players were mostly youth players, some who were getting their first minutes with the club. The alternate squad did an excellent job maintaining the lead to give Eduardo Coudet a great first impression in charge of the border city side.
“El Chacho” did say after the game that he will be looking for an “intense” and “dynamic” style of play from his players this season. The Argentine will be looking to bring thrills to Tijuana while still being able to get the favorable results like in this friendly match. There is still a long road to the start of the Apertura 2017 with a few missing pieces of the puzzle to come. This should be an intriguing and intense season with the promising Eduardo Coudet at the helm.