The Tijuana Xolos played their 10th game in the Liga MX 2023 Apertura season this Wednesday, Oct. 4, against Santos Laguna at the Estadio TSM Corona. Club Tijuana came up with a disappointing 2-1 loss after having won their last game 5-1 at home vs. FC Juarez.
This game was set to be a tough one with top goalscorer Carlos Gonzalez out due to suspension after scoring two goals and picking up a red card against FC Juarez. Lucas Cavallini was also out with an injury picked up in a mid-week practice session, which left youngster Daniel Vazquez as the starting striker for Miguel Herrera.
Coach Herrera made one other change to his starting lineup that he brought out against FC Juarez, replacing Rafael Fernandez with Francisco Contreras in this match.
Santos Laguna struck first in this match, as Harold Preciado scored his league-leading eighth goal of the season, linking up with Juan Brunetta. Brunetta made an impressive run, beating out Tijuana’s backline and making a masterful pass to Preciado inside the penalty area, who just tapped the ball into the back of the net.
The Border City Dogs were able to respond in the 25th minute of the match with a goal by Lucas Rodriguez to make it a 1-1 game. The goal started with a very well-constructed play by team captain Christian Rivera, who passed the ball to Alejandro Martinez inside the penalty area. Martinez released a shot, but it was stopped by Santos Laguna keeper Hipolito Holguin, who was making his Liga MX debut. However, the shot fell straight to Lucas Rodriguez, who put the ball into the back of the net to tie it for the Xoloitzcuintles.
The first half ended 1-1 in what was a hard-fought clash at the Estadio TSM Corona, in a match with not much to separate both teams. The second half offered better entertainment overall, but the first goal of the half came until the 78th minute when Felix Torres Caicedo made it a 2-1 game.
The goal came via a header off a free-kick assist by Juan Brunetta, who continued his stellar performance in this match. The game came with some late-game drama, as Club Tijuana were awarded a penalty in the 90th minute of the game. Lucas Rodriguez went from hero to villain for the Prehistoric Dogs, missing the penalty after having scored in the first half of the match.
Rodriguez shot left, but Hipolito Holguin guessed left and stopped the penalty in what was a dream debut for the young Santos Laguna goalkeeper. The game ended 2-1 in Santos Laguna favor, in what was a very disappointing end to the match for Xolos.
Club Tijuana is still in a playoff position after this loss, currently in ninth place with 14 points. Carlos Gonzalez coming back from the red card will help the team massively, as his absence was clearly noticeable in this match.
Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. 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 local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.