The Tijuana Xolos played their Liga MX 2019 Apertura Week 9 matchup against Tigres UANL this Friday, Sept. 13. The Aztec Canines were the heavy underdogs heading into the game as Tigres UANL has proven to be one of the best teams in Mexican soccer over the past five years.
Manager Oscar Pareja did make changes to his lineup as fullback Oscar Mendoza reappeared in the starting XI. The Colombian coach also went with Ariel Nahuelpan in the attack to accompany Miller Bolanos and Camilo Sanvezzo. Recent signing Cesar Falletti also appeared in the lineup as he continues to receive Pareja’s trust.
Tigres were able to open the score in the 31st minute of the match as midfielder Lucas Zelayaran struck a shot from long range that was able to get past Gibran Lajud. Shortly after the goal, Tigres’ Luis Quinones was given a red card for arguing with the referee. Andre-Pierre Gignac was given a yellow card even though the French striker was arguably much more aggressive with the match official.
The first half ended with the visitors having a 1-0 lead at the Estadio Caliente, but also with a man down due to the red card. The red cards continued throughout the heated encounter as Tigres’ manager Ricardo Ferretti was booted from the match in the 51st minute.
Xolos’ fullback Aldo Cruz then received a red card in the 55th minute after stepping on Hugo Ayala’s leg. Referee Diego Montano initially gave Cruz a yellow card, but the foul was reviewed by VAR and the young fullback was booted from the match.
The game stayed with heavy intensity as there were three more yellow cards at the Mictlan before the final whistle. Tigres were able to hold on well to the lead, especially after Tijuana was also down to 10 men with Aldo Cruz’s expulsion.
However, in the dying minutes of the match, the Xolos were able to pull a rabbit out of a hat as the Aztec Canines were awarded a penalty in the 89th minute. The penalty was awarded because Tigres’ goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman pushed down Xolos’ captain Diego Braghieri inside of the penalty area.
Miller Bolanos was able to perfectly execute the penalty as the Xoloitzcuintles tied the match in the last few seconds of the clash. The penalty was very controversial as it seemed that Braghieri dived and that Nahuel Guzman did not really impose too much force on the play.
The game ended 1-1 at the Estadio Caliente as there was bad blood between both teams and between the Tigres’ players and referee Diego Montano. The game was very intense and the point was a golden one for Club Tijuana against one of the top title contenders in the 2019 Apertura.
Xolos’ Lineup: Gibran Lajud, Aldo Cruz, Diego Braghieri, Julian Velazquez, Omar Mendoza (45′ Ignacio Rivero), Kevin Balanta, Leonel Miranda (64′ Mauro Lainez), Cesar Falletti (75′ Erick Torres), Miller Bolanos, Camilo Sanvezzo, Ariel Nahuelpan