The Tijuana Xolos played their 11th game in the Liga MX 2023 Clausura season as Club Tijuana visited Santos Laguna.
Coming into the match, the Xoloitzcuintles were winless away from home, and that trend continued as the border city team fell 3-2 at the Estadio TSM Corona.
Miguel Herrera was forced to make some changes to his starting lineup as both Lisandro Lopez, and Fernando Valenzuela were unavailable for the match. Rodrigo Parra and Lucas Rodriguez replaced the pair in the starting 11 as “Piojo” utilized a 5-3-2 formation. Rodrigo Godinez and Joaquin Montecinos were both coming back from injury for Xolos, as Godinez did feature in the starting backline.
The first half was quite uneventful until the last few minutes of it when both teams made a mark on the scoreboard. The first big chance for Santos Laguna came in the 19th minute of the encounter as Juan Brunetta scored from inside the penalty area, but he was called offside, and the game remained scoreless.
— Xolos (@Xolos) March 13, 2023
In the 25th minute, Rodrigo Parra came out of the match with an injury as Jair Diaz had to replace him in Miguel Herrera’s backline. The last few minutes of the half picked up in pace as Harold Preciado almost scored for Santos Laguna in the 44th minute of the game. Preciado stole the ball from Nicolas Diaz close to the penalty area, but Antonio Rodriguez was able to make a fantastic save to keep the game scoreless.
However, shortly after the save, Santos Laguna took advantage of a corner kick as Javier Correa scored a header off a deflection by Antonio Rodriguez. Club Tijuana was able to respond immediately with a goal in stoppage time as Alexis Canelo scored off a powerful strike from just inside of the penalty area. Lucas Rodriguez played a significant role in the goal as he stole the ball from the middle of the park and made a long run before passing the sphere to Alexis Canelo.
The first half ended on a high note, with plenty of scoring opportunities and a goal for each side at the Estadio TSM Corona. The second half was much better overall than the first half, as both teams continued to have several scoring plays.
The home team began the scoring in the second half with another goal from Javier Correa, who scored from a powerful shot from just inside the Xolos’ penalty area. Once again, the Aztec Canines were able to respond rather quickly as Lucas Rodriguez scored in the 60th minute to make it a 2-2 game. The goal came off a very well-constructed play as Leonel Lopez sent a potent pass to Lucas Cavallini, who then passed the ball to Rodriguez inside of the penalty area.
“Titi” was able to react quickly on the play as he chipped the ball perfectly over Carlos Acevedo to score the tying goal. The tie game did not last long as Matheus Doria made it a 3-2 game for Santos Laguna in the 73rd minute of the clash. The goal came off a corner kick by Juan Brunetta, like Santos’ first goal of the match, as the marking on the play by Club Tijuana was poor.
Club Tijuana had a few other scoring opportunities before the final whistle, but ultimately it was not enough, as their defensive miscues cost them the game. It was a very poor defensive performance put in by the Xoloitzcuintles, as Lisandro Lopez’s absence was absolutely felt in Miguel Herrera’s backline.
The Tijuana Xolos are still winless in road games, now with four losses and a draw away from home, tied for the worst road record in the Liga MX. Tijuana’s road struggles have been prevalent throughout the team’s history, and it is difficult for even a manager with the experience of Miguel Herrera to change that.
Xolos will now look to get back on track at home as Club Tijuana hosts Toluca at the Estadio Caliente this next Friday, March 17, 2023.
Xolos: Antonio Rodriguez, Alejandro Martinez, Nicolas Diaz, Rodrigo Godinez, Rodrigo Parra (25′ Jair Diaz), Ismael Govea, Federico Lertora (78′ Misael Dominguez), Leonel Lopez (63′ Eduardo Armenta), Lucas Rodriguez, Alexis Canelo, Lucas Cavallini (79′ Braian Romero)
Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo, Raul Lopez, Hugo Rodriguez (46′ Felix Torres Caicedo), Matheus Doria, Omar Campos (66′ Jose Lozano), Aldo Lopez, Alan Cervantes (66′ Lucas Gonzalez), Diego Medina (66′ Jair Gonzalez), Harold Preciado, Javier Correa (81′ Salvador Mariscal)
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.