Tijuana Xolos remain winless after 1-1 draw vs. Queretaro

Credit: XoloGuero/EVT Sports

Credit: XoloGuero/EVT Sports

The Tijuana Xolos played their sixth game of the Liga MX 2024 Clausura season against Queretaro at the Estadio Caliente this Friday, February 9.

Miguel Herrera made several changes to his lineup, bringing on players like Rafael Fernandez, Aaron Mejia, Ivan Tona, and Efrain Alvarez, who had not been seeing regular playing time this semester. Jose de Jesus Corona also started in net for Club Tijuana with the current injury problems that Antonio Rodriguez has been facing.

Going into the match, both teams desperately needed the three points from this match, and that intensity was seen in the first half of the clash.

The first goal of the match came in the 13th minute when Facundo Batista scored via a header off a perfectly executed corner kick by Pablo Barrera. Batista was able to beat Xolos’ Carlos Gonalez in an aerial duel to make it 1-0 for Queretaro at the Mictlan.

Club Tijuana struggled to generate much offense after the goal but found a golden opportunity in the 32nd minute when a free kick was given to the Xoloitzcuintles near the box. Efrain Alvarez stepped up to take the free kick and was able to muster up a powerful strike that found the back of the net. This was the Mexican-American’s first goal with Club Tijuana, and it was quite an impressive one to add to his resume.

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Alvarez talked about his goal to EVT after the match. “It was very important because I haven’t scored in a long time. It’s a relief for me. It’s something that I’ve been waiting for a long time, so I’m super happy, but I’m not happy that we didn’t win”, Alvarez said.

The first half ended 1-1 in a game where Club Tijuana dominated possession heavily but needed to be more creative with the ball. Club Tijuana was clearly the better team in the second half, generating much more offensive play than the visitors.

Credit: XoloGuero/EVT Sports

Lucas Rodriguez was very close to scoring in the 50th minute and then again in the 54th minute, but his shots were denied by the post. In the 73rd minute, Ivan Tona fired an outside of the box shot, but he was denied by Queretaro goalkeeper Fernando Tapia. In the 81st minute, a headed pass by Jose Zuniga found Carlos Gonzalez, and his header went just wide of the net.

Club Tijuana was the only team competing in the second half, as Queretaro had no shots in the second half and opted to defend the 1-1 result. The Border City Dogs deserved a second goal, but were very unlucky to not have scored in the final 45 minutes of the match.

The 1-1 result is a terrible one for the Xoloitzcuintles in a game that had a high potential of being won. The Aztec Canines are still winless at home after three games played at the Estadio Caliente, and this is extremely worrying, given the massive road struggles the team constantly has. There is still plenty of games left in the 2024 Clausura, but this is one of those games that needed to be won in order to be considered a contender for the Liga MX playoffs.

Fans called for the dismissal of manager Miguel Herrera throughout the stadium after the match and the Mexican coach went on to directly confront some of the fans by insulting them. There was also an argument between teammates Carlos Gonzalez and Rafael Fernandez during the match. Veteran goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona commented on this altercation  and said that it is simply “part of the game”.

After six games, Club Tijuana is yet to win and the clear unrest within the team has been evident for several weeks now. Frustration is building up fast in the border city, and it will be interesting to see just how much patience the Xolos’ front office has with Miguel Herrera.

Club Tijuana has two consecutive away games coming up against Atletico San Luis and Toluca, as even a point from those two games seems like a stretch at this point.

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