Tijuana Xolos Liga MX 2018 AP Week 12 Recap: Three Points Escape With Controversial Penalty

Credit: Imago7

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Credit: Imago7

Tijuana, Mexico

The Tijuana Xolos played their 12th game in the Liga MX 2018 Apertura this Saturday, Oct. 6, against Queretaro at the Estadio Caliente. The game was set to be an even duel between two teams that are just outside of a playoff spot and it did turn out to be that way.

The Border City Dogs went off to a fast start in the clash with a goal by Fabian Castillo in just the 12th minute. The goal was the result of a well-constructed play as Miller Bolanos sent in a cross that found Castillo inside of the penalty area to finish the chance with a diving header.

The game stayed quiet for the rest of the first half as each team finished with only two shots on target each. Queretaro controlled possession, but there was no team that had completely dominated the match after the first 45 minutes.

The second half began with much more rhythm and tempo as there was a brisk pace to the game at the Mictlan. The visitors received a golden opportunity by referee Roberto Garcia Orozco as he called a penalty for Los Gallos Blancos after an alleged hand ball by Xolos’ center-back Gustavo Canto. The call was very controversial as it did not appear to be a hand ball upon further review.

Camilo Sanvezzo finished the penalty to perfection in the 61st minute and tied up the score at a goal apiece. Diego Cocca pushed forward and tried to be aggressive after conceding the goal as he brought on Luis Chavez, Juan Martin Lucero and Eryc Castillo off the bench.

The fresh players tried to make an impact but failed to do so as the game finished 1-1 thanks to a very impressive performance by Queretaro goalkeeper Tiago Volpi and some poor finishing as well.

The Xolos are now in 10th place with 16 points but could fall further down the table with other results in the Liga MX on Sunday. The playoffs seem very tough to make at this point for the Aztec Canines given the rest of the schedule before the end of the regular season.

Man Of The Match: Tiago Volpi

The Xolos had 21 total shots, but just a goal to show for it thanks to a masterful performance by Tiago Volpi in net for Queretaro. The Brazilian goalkeeper had five total saves and continues to be one of the best shot-stoppers in the Liga MX with performances like these.

Xolos’ Starting Lineup: Gibran Lajud, Luis Martinez, Julian Velazquez, Gustavo Canto, Luis Fuentes, Fabian Castillo (69’ Luis Chavez), Diego Rodriguez, Diego Gonzalez (79’ Eryc Castillo), Ignacio Rivero, Miller Bolanos, Erick Torres (74’ Juan Martin Lucero)

Diego Cocca decided to sit team captain Juan Carlos Valenzuela and start 24-year-old center-back Gustavo Canto for a second consecutive game. The Argentine manager also benched Omar Mendoza and started 19-year-old fullback Luis Martinez in his place. The decision to start Canto did ultimately backfire as he did cause a penalty even if it was controversial, but he did have a solid performance overall. Martinez also had a solid performance, but the worrying issue is the inconsistencies in the striker role by both Erick Torres and Juan Martin Lucero.

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