The Tijuana Xolos played their ninth game in the Liga MX 2019 Clausura tournament this Friday, March 1, as the Aztec Canines hosted Atlas at the Estadio Caliente. The Xoloitzcuintles were the favorites heading into the clash and took advantage of the home turf with a dominant 3-1 win at the Mictlan.
Oscar Pareja had to make some adjustments to his lineup with Fabian Castillo and Omar Mendoza injured. Eryc Castillo replaced his namesake on the wing, while young fullback Luis Martinez replaced Omar Mendoza.
The Border City Dogs started off the scoring early with a goal by Eryc Castillo in the 11th minute of the encounter. The Ecuadorian winger beat Atlas’ fullback Ismael Govea on the wing and managed to beat goalkeeper Jose Hernandez with a precise chipped shot. The marking by Govea was also very poor on the play and allowed Castillo to create enough space to give Club Tijuana the 1-0 lead.
Ariel Nahuepan then extended the Hairless Dogs lead in the 13th minute with his first goal of the season for the Xolos. The Argentine striker scored with a shot from inside of the penalty area off a perfectly-timed through ball by Gustavo Bou. The Xoloitzcuintles were relatively quiet after that second goal as Atlas controlled more possession of the ball, but could not do anything with it.
The first half ended 2-0 in Club Tijuana’s favor as the win for the home team seemed extremely likely after the first 45 minutes. Atlas was given a penalty just four minutes into the second half as Osvaldo Martinez made it a 2-1 game in the 49th minute from the penalty spot.
The penalty was very controversial as it was unclear if the ball had made contact with Ignacio Rivero’s hand. Oscar Pareja made his first modification of the match in the 65th minute as Jesus Angulo replaced Eryc Castillo.
Atlas was still alive in the game, but that hope quickly phased out as Facundo Barcelo received a red card in the 69th minute. The Border City Dogs immediately took advantage of the extra man and seemed very dominant with the extra player on the pitch.
Pareja then decided to go all out and remove fullback Luis Martinez for midfielder Diego Gonzalez. Ariel Nahuelpan then put the finishing blow for Atlas in the 78th minute as the Argentine striker scored his second goal of the game to make it 3-1 for the border city side.
Nahuelpan pulled off a shot off a throw-in, in between two of Atlas’ defenders and somehow found the proper angle and space to put the ball in the back of the net. The goal was an incredible sight, but Atlas’ defenders were also at fault as there was no way Nahuelpan should have been able to pull off that shot.
The game finished 3-1 in the Xoloitzcuintles’ favor at the Estadio Caliente as the home team continued an impressive run. The Border City Dogs are now undefeated in their last eight games in all competitions, currently on a monstrous five-game winning streak.
The Xolos were able to finish the month of February undefeated in all games played and are now off to a blazing start in March with an important win in league play.
— Xolos (@xolos_en) March 2, 2019
Xolos’ Lineup: Gibran Lajud, Luis Martinez (75’ Diego Gonzalez), Julian Velazquez, Diego Braghieri, Luis Fuentes, Diego Rodriguez, Ignacio Rivero, Eryc Castillo (65’ Jesus Angulo), Miller Bolanos, Gustavo Bou, Ariel Nahuelpan (86’ Antonio Nava)