The Tijuana Xolos came away with arguably their best win of the season this Wednesday, November 1, as the Aztec Canines defeated Tigres UANL 2-0. Tigres UANL are the current Liga MX champions and have a star-studded squad that Xolos have been unable to defeat since 2016.
Miguel Herrera was forced to change his lineup from the one that defeated Atlas 2-0 last Sunday, as Alejandro Martinez was out with an injury. The rest of the starting 11 stayed the same, with Kevin Castaneda replacing the injured Martinez.
Club Tijuana immediately began the match with an aggressive and offensive approach that paid off with the opening goal of the match in the 28th minute. Fernando Madrigal scored the first goal of the night via a shot from inside of the box off a cross by Domingo Blanco.
Blanco turned out to be the man of the match, as he scored a goal of his own in the 32nd minute. The soring play started off a quick counterattack when Lucas Rodriguez passed the ball deep up the field to find Blanco. Blanco used his impressive speed to go through on goal and had an ice-cold finish past Tigres’ shot-stopper Nahuel Guzman to make it a 2-0 game.
The Border City Dogs were by far the better team in the first half, with six shots on goal to Tigres’ one. Despite having just 39 percent possession, the Xoloitzcuintles were able to make the quick transitions from defense to attack and strike on counters.
Club Tijuana was able to maintain the 2-0 lead with rigid defensive play in the second half. Miguel Herrera utilized a 4-4-2 formation in defense that worked perfectly to completely neutralize a very strong Tigres attack.
Tigres’ star player Andre-Pierre Gignac was subbed out in the 64th minute, as he was completely shut down on the night. The visitors finished with no shots on target in the second half, desperately trying to formulate any attacking play through Diego Lainez.
The final whistle blew as a vibrant Estadio Caliente cheered and praised the performance put in by the Xoloitzcuintles. With just two games left in the season, the three points from this match were absolutely vital.
The playoff race is tight in the Liga MX, and Xolos are now in fifth place with 23 points, which is good for a direct spot in the quarterfinals. The remaining two games on the season are against Club America on November 44 and vs. Pachuca on November 111 to end the season at home.
A playoff spot is nowhere near guaranteed just yet, but this win was a colossal step forward toward making those coveted Liga MX playoffs.
Club Tijuana improved to five consecutive wins at the Estadio Caliente and hope to close out the season with a win against Pachuca at the Mictlan.
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.