The Tijuana Xolos played their 15th game in the Liga MX 2018 Apertura on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, against Lobos BUAP at the Estadio Universitario BUAP. The game was set to be a difficult duel due to the Xolos’ recent form, the Lobos’ recent form, and the Xolos transitioning to a new manager in Franky Oviedo.
Before this match, the Aztec Canines were winless in their last three games while Lobos BUAP was on a five-game unbeaten streak. The border city side had also only won one game on the road and had only scored one goal while conceding 11 away from the Estadio Caliente. These same struggles stayed consistent in this match as the Border City Dogs lost 3-1 against the team from Puebla. Colin Kazim-Richards opened the scoring in the encounter with a goal in the 30th minute as the English striker had Gibran Lajud one-on-one and managed to score. Kazim-Richards was assisted with a header by Leonardo Ramos and the marking by Xolos’ backline on the play was woeful.
The first half stayed quiet after that goal as the Xolos finished with less ball-possession, but with three shots on target. Club Tijuana’s attack with Jesus Angulo, Eryc Castillo, and Miller Bolanos seemed promising, but struggled to finish opportunities. The Xoloitzcuintles finally broke through in the 48th minute with a headed goal by Ignacio Rivero off a cross by Luis Chavez. However, Lobos BUAP responded straight away in the 49th minute with another goal by Colin Kazim-Richards. The London native scored his second of the night off a cross by Leonardo Ramos as the Argentine striker bagged his second assist of the night.
The Xolos’ attack was stagnant after the goal with a few opportunities that were saved by Lobos BUAP goalkeeper Jose Antonio Rodriguez. To make matters worse, Lobos BUAP scored the third goal in compensation time to secure the three points from the clash.
Mauro Lainez made an incredible run on the left flank, took the entire Xolos’ backline, and released a potent strike that surpassed Gibran Lajud. Lainez took off his jersey when celebrating, and was sent off as he must have forgotten that he already had a yellow card. The red card did not make an impact as there were only a few seconds left in the match after the Mexican forward was sent off.
The game finished 3-1 in the home team’s favor as Franky Oviedo started his stint with Club Tijuana in uninspiring fashion. With the victory, Lobos BUAP surpassed the Xolos in the standings as the Aztec Canines fell to 15th place with 16 points.
Club Tijuana is not officially out of the playoff race, but it would take a miracle, and not a minor one, for the Border City Dogs to make the top eight. The Xolos are now winless in their last four games and will try to finish with some dignity as they play their last home game of the season in Week 16 against Monarcas Morelia.
— @Xolos_En (@xolos_en) November 4, 2018
Xolos’ Starting Lineup: Gibran Lajud, Luis Martinez (45’ Diego Gonzalez), Julian Velazquez, Gustavo Canto, Luis Fuentes, Ignacio Rivero, Diego Rodriguez, Luis Chavez (60’ Rubio Rubin), Jesus Angulo (69’ Juan Martin Lucero), Eryc Castillo, Miller Bolanos
Franky Oviedo made several changes to the lineup Diego Cocca used against Pumas UNAM in Week 14. Luis Martinez replaced Omar Mendoza at right-back, Gustavo Canto replaced Juan Carlos Valenzuela at centre-back, Luis Chavez replaced Diego Gonzalez, Ignacio Rivero was re-inserted in the lineup, and Juan Martin Lucero was left on the bench. Still, these changes did not make much of an impact as the Xolos still lost and suffered from the same finishing problems that have plagued the team all season long.