The Tijuana Xolos played their fourth game of the Liga MX 2024 Clausura season away from home this Tuesday, January 30, 2024, against Cruz Azul.
Going into this match, Club Tijuana was winless on the season with just two points from three games played, coming off a 1-1 draw against Chivas de Guadalajara at home.
The Border City Dogs were also winless in 10 consecutive away matches heading into this game. Historically, Club Tijuana has been haunted by road struggles, and this did not change in this match. Miguel Herrera made some changes to his lineup bringing on Rafael Fernandez and Efrain Alvarez into the mix.
The game started lively for both squads, with a combined 14 shots in the initial 45 minutes of play. However, there were some worrisome injuries for Xolos, as Kevin Balanta exited the match in the 38th minute and goalkeeper Antonio Rodriguez was replaced with Jose de Jesus Corona at the start of the second half.
There was a goal canceled by VAR at the end of the first half due to an offside by Cruz Azul’s Angel Sepulveda, but he managed to score at the beginning of the second half. The goal came off a well-constructed play by Cruz Azul, where Alexis Gutierrez was able to send in a direct pass to Sepulveda inside of the penalty area.
The Aztec Canines definitely lost presence in the backline without Kevin Balanta, who is the leader in Tijuana’s defense. The Xolos’ offense failed to generate much of anything in the second half, with just one shot on target, as the 1-0 scoreline remained. This was a very tough match for the border city side, and it was an even bigger blow considering the concern with the injuries to key players.
Club Tijuana is now winless in the first four games of the 2024 Clausura season and is winless in 11 consecutive away games now. The road struggles are always a constant worry for the Xoloitzcuintles, but the team has been just as ineffective at home so far.
The Border City Dogs will continue on their road trip, as they will face Pachuca away from home on February 3 before returning home to face Queretaro on February 9.
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.