Tijuana Xolos Liga MX 2019 Apertura Recap: Xolos defeat Cruz Azul 3-2 in wild game

Credit: Xolos

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Credit: Xolos

Tijuana, Mexico

A “CruzAzuleada” is a term in Mexican soccer used to describe a moment when Cruz Azul loses a game, specifically with a late goal from the opposition. An extreme example of this was seen on Wednesday night at the Estadio Caliente as the Tijuana Xolos defeated Cruz Azul 3-2.

The game started off intensely from the initial whistle as a nearly sold-out Estadio Caliente boomed with the atmosphere. The first goal of the game came in just the fifth minute of the clash as former Xolos’ captain Pablo Aguilar scored from a header off a free kick by Yoshimar Yotun.

The Xoloitzcuintles were able to tie it in the 17th minute with a very similar goal to the one scored by Cruz Azul as Julian Velazquez scored a header off a free kick by Miller Bolanos. Cruz Azul regained the lead in the 26th minute as Yoshimar Yotun scored a penalty to give Los Celestes a 2-1 lead. The penalty was awarded to the Mexico City side because of a handball by Xolos’ captain Diego Braghieri.

By the end of the first half, Club Tijuana had 61 percent possession, but Cruz Azul had been more effective going forward. A turning point in the match for the Aztec Canines came in the 55th minute as fullback Adrian Aldrete was given a red card and Cruz Azul was reduced to 10 men.

The Xolos immediately took advantage of this as Kevin Balanta tied the score in the 62nd minute to make it 2-2. The Colombian midfielder fired a shot from well outside of the penalty area and the ball deflected off a Cruz Azul defender and into the back of the net.

The infamous “Cruzazuleada” that was previously mentioned came in stoppage time, precisely in the 92nd minute as Erick Torres of all people gave Club Tijuana the game winner. “Cubo” scored off a shot from inside of the penalty area as Washington Camacho headed the ball to Torres.

Neither Torres or Camacho started the match as both were solid substitutions by Xolos’ manager Oscar Pareja. Uruguayan midfielder Cesar Falletti also made his debut for the Xoloitzcuintles, coming off the bench one day after he was officially presented by the club.

The game ended with a lot of pushing and shoving from Xolos and Cruz Azul players as both teams built a lot of animosity during the 90 minutes of play.

The win was an important one for the Aztec Canines after losing 2-0 against Toluca over the weekend in Week 6. The goal was even more important for Erick Torres, who was clearly ecstatic as he celebrated by taking off his shirt and was even celebrating after the game in the tunnel.

It was Torres’ second league goal with the Xoloitzcuintles and his first goal since the 2018 Apertura tournament. The goal was a tremendous confidence boost for “Cubo” and for the entire Xolos’ team.

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