Game: Necaxa vs Tijuana Xolos
Where: Estadio Victoria, Aguascalientes, Mexico
When: Friday, July 7, 2023
Time: 8:00 p.m. PST
The Tijuana Xolos will play their first road game of the Liga MX 2023 Apertura season this Friday, July 8, against Necaxa at the Estadio Victoria.
Club Tijuana began the new campaign with a 3-2 loss against Pumas UNAM at the Estadio Caliente.
The Xoloitzcuintles were winning the game against Pumas 2-1 by the 48th minute but allowed goals by Juan Dinenno and Eduardo Salvio to lose the game. The goal by Salvio came in the 89th minute, as the points escaped for Club Tijuana in the dying minutes of the match.
One positive takeaway from the game for the Aztec Canines was the fact that Fernando Madrigal and Carlos Gonzalez, who are both new to the team this season, scored in the match. Along with Madrigal and Gonzalez, Jose de Jesus Corona, Kevin Balanta, Rafael Fernandez, Christian Rivera, and Diego Barbosa, who are all new to the team this season, started the match.
Nicolas Diaz crashed heads with teammate Kevin Balanta in the match and was subsequently sent to the hospital. Diaz was stable shortly after, but it is unclear at the time of writing if he will be available for this match against Necaxa. Alan Vega made his Liga MX debut replacing Diaz in Week 1 and is the likely replacement for the Chilean defender if he is to miss this match.
Necaxa started the 2023 Apertura with a scoreless draw against Toluca, which was a fantastic result considering how dominant Toluca is at home. Necaxa goalkeeper Raul Gudino, who played his first game for the club, had a fantastic showing and is set to be one of the key players for Los Rayos this season.
Necaxa played with a five-man backline in its first match, and it will be interesting to see if Head Coach Rafael Dudamel implements the same formation against Club Tijuana. Dudamel played a counter-attacking style against Toluca, and there is potential to repeat that tactic against Miguel Herrera’s aggressive tactics. Heriberto Jurado and Bryan Garnica have the potential to be dangerous on the wings against the Xoloitzcuintles in those counter attacks.
This is a winnable match for the Tijuana Xolos, but the historic road struggles for the border city team have the potential to haunt them once again this season.
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.