Tijuana Xolos fall apart in 3-2 loss to Necaxa, extend winless streak to 16 games

Credit: XoloGuero/EVT Sports

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Credit: XoloGuero/EVT Sports

The Tijuana Xolos played their 14th game in the Liga MX 2024 Clausura season this Friday, April 5, against Necaxa at the Estadio Caliente. Club Tijuana was going into the game on a grim 15-game winless streak and ended up extending that streak to 16 games with a 3-2 loss to Necaxa.

The weather in the Tijuana area was bipolar on the day, with rain, hail, and clear skies at moments during this Friday. Rain was expected around game time and it came pouring down, as it was a very poor attendance at the Mictlan for Tijuana’s standards. Fans were uneasy since before the initial whistle with Xolos’ supporters group “La Masakr3” being banned from attending the match due to attending the recent away match against Mazatlan FC. It is normally tradition for fans to support Xolos and chant “Fuerza Tijuas” at the 33rd minute of each home match, but this time around the team was received with boos and jeers in the 33rd minute.

The first goal of the match came in the 38th minute when Diber Cambindo scored to give Necaxa the lead after a hard-fought battle between both sides. The goal came off a quick-paced play by Necaxa and an assist by Jose Paradela, who gave the ball perfectly to Cambindo, who was able to finish the opportunity with ease. Shortly after the goal, Cambindo came away with an injury and needed to be replaced by Ricardo Monreal in the 41st minute.

Club Tijuana tied the game just before the half, as Carlos Gonzalez scored his fourth goal of the season to give some hope to the crowd at the Mictlan. The goal came from a beautiful play that started with a cross by Mexican-Amercan midfielder Efrain Alvarez, who found Gonzalez in the area and the Paraguayan striker hit the ball first-time for an impressive finish.

The second half started off with heavy rain and, in terms of gameplay, very slowly, with not many scoring opportunities for either side. Club Tijuana was able to break the deadlock in the 74th minute with an impressive goal by Domingo Blanco, who fired a shot that went through the netting with the amount of force that he put on the shot.

In the 83rd minute a controversial penalty was awarded to Necaxa after a foul on Braian Samudio, the decision was reviewed by VAR and then by the match official, who gave a penalty to Los Rayos. Jose Paradela stepped up to take the penalty, and he finished the opportunity perfectly, shooting to the left side of the net. The score was now tied again 2-2 as fans once again burst in uproar with several boos and jeers directed at both teams.

Fans became even more uneasy when Jose Paradela was able to score the game-winner in stoppage time off a very strange play. Braian Samudio sent in a cross into the box off a whipped pass to find Jose Paradela, who just tapped the ball lightly to get the ball in the back of the net. Nicolas Diaz definitely could have done much better on the play, especially before the sphere found Paradela inside of the penalty area. Diaz also was unable to reach the ball that was headed into the net with not much pace to it.

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Necaxa won the match 3-2 in what was a thriller at the Estadio Caliente but also a highly disappointing result for all of the home support at the Mictlan. The infamous homophobic chant was even heard several times towards the end of the match, with the game nearing suspension by the end of the 90 minutes.

Manager Miguel Herrera addressed the media more than an hour after the game concluded, indicated a very serious team talk between management and players took place after the match. “I am embarrassed to come out here with you guys, because I cannot find the answer to what is happening”, Herrera said.

The Border City Dogs are now on a 16-game winless streak, dating back to last season and can potentially finish the 2024 Clausura winless, with just three games left on the season. Club Tijuana are still battling to try and avoid paying a fee upwards of $5 million and will have a match that directly impacts that against FC Juarez away from home on April 14.

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