Tijuana Xolos Liga MX 2020 Clausura Recap: Lajud struggles, Xolos Fall 4-2 to Cruz Azul

Credit: Xolos

Mexico City

The Tijuana Xolos played their ninth game in the Liga MX 2020 Clausura season this Saturday, March 7, as the Aztec Canines visited Cruz Azul at the Estadio Azteca. The Xoloitzcuintles were heading into this match on a dismal two-game losing streak, and that streak was extended as Club Tijuana fell 4-2.

What immediately stood out from Gustavo Quinteros’ lineup was the absence of Miller Bolanos, Bryan Angulo, and Camilo Sanvezzo. The attack was led by Erick Torres, Angel Sepulveda, and Mauro Lainez in this match against La Maquina.

Despite the alternate lineup, the Xolos looked like the better team initially as Ignacio Rivero gave Club Tijuana a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute of the game. The goal for “Nacho” was the result of a header off a cross by Mauro Lainez. That lead was quickly diminished as Jonathan Rodriguez scored his eighth goal of the season in the 40th minute to tie up the match.

Xolos goalkeeper Gibran Lajud did not do his best on the play as it was a header directed right at him. The first half ended 1-1, but Roberto Alvarado quickly gave Cruz Azul a 2-1 lead as the second half began. Alvarado’s goal was great at first glance, but again Gibran Lajud did not use the best of his ability to get to the ball.

Alvarado then scored his second of the match in the 59th minute of the encounter as Cruz Azul had a 3-1 lead. The Xolos immediately were able to get a goal back in the 61st minute as Erick Torres scored off a header. The game was intense at 3-2, but Julio Cesar Dominguez deescalated the atmosphere in the 74th minute as he gave the home team a 4-2 lead.

Dominguez scored off a corner kick as Gibran Lajud’s positioning on the play was atrocious. The game ended 4-2, as Lajud was the scapegoat for Xolos fans with his multiple blunders. The Mexican goalkeeper has had a terrible season so far, and Gustavo Quinteros needs to start thinking of alternatives.

The loss extends Club Tijuana’s losing streak to three games as the Aztec Canines have now conceded six goals and only scored two goals in this streak. At the time of writing, the Xoloitzcuintles are in 16th place with six points, as this seems like it will be another forgettable campaign for the border city club. The Xolos will now focus on the second leg of the Copa MX semifinals, where Club Tijuana has a 3-0 lead over Toluca.

It is also worth noting that midfielder Kevin Balanta picked up an injury early in the match, and his status is still unknown.

Xolos Lineup: Gibran Lajud, Vladimir Lorona, Jordan Silva, Leandro Gonzalez-Pirez, Aldo Cruz, Kevin Balanta (23′ Christian Rivera), Ignacio Rivero, Alexis Castro (70′ Edwin Cardona), Mauro Lainez, Angel Sepulveda (53′ Miller Bolanos), Erick Torres

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.