The Tijuana Xolos had a unmemorable Apertura 2017 tournament, finishing in 11th place with 21 points.
There were various factors that led to the Xolos’ downfall in this competition, like mismanagement, team chemistry, and finishing ability in front of the net. Among the most vital factors that contributed to the Aztec Canines’ disappointing tournament were the results at the Estadio Caliente.
The Estadio Caliente has been renowned to be a tough place to visit as the fans create a distinct atmosphere, and the synthetic turf can be tough to manage by visiting sides.
Leon manager Gustavo Diaz even said the turf played a role in his team’s 2-1 loss at the Mictlan this season. The win against Los Esmeraldas was one of only three for the Xolos at the Estadio Caliente in the Apertura 2017. The border city side won three games, tied two, and lost three games at home this season, and this definitely made an impact. Historically, the Prehistoric Dogs have thrived when they have had success at home and have failed when they struggle at the Estadio Caliente.
During the Xolos’ two first-place finishes under Miguel Herrera in the Apertura 2016 and Clausura 2017, Club Tijuana only lost three games. In the Apertura 2016, the Aztec Canines won seven games, only lost one, and outscored their opponents 14-2 in eight games.
In the Clausura 2017, Miguel Herrera’s men won five games, lost two, tied two, and outscored their opponents 16-8. In the Apertura 2017, Club Tijuana was outscored 9-7 by its opponents, something that had not been seen recently. In the Xolos’ championship season, the Apertura 2012, Antonio Mohamed led his team to an undefeated tournament at home with five wins and three draws at home.
In the Apertura 2015 and Clausura 2016, the Xolos weren’t as successful, finishing 17th in the Apertura 2015 and 14th in the Clausura 2016. In both tournaments the border city side struggled massively at home, contributing severely to the team’s downfall. In the Apertura 2015, Los Xoloitzcuintles won two games, lost five, and tied one game and in the Clausura 2016, the Prehistoric Dogs did not see victory at the Mictlan.
— Eugene Rupinski (@GolazodelGringo) November 27, 2017
In Miguel Herrera’s first season in charge of the team in the Clausura 2016, the Border City Dogs lost three games and tied six in nine games at home.
It is clear that the Xolos must be successful at the Estadio Caliente to succeed in the Liga MX, and with only three wins from eight games, the border city team did not achieve this in the Apertura 2017.