Game: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente vs. Puebla
Date: Friday, January 13th
Time: 7:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 PM Central, 10:00 PM Eastern
Venue: Estadio Caliente (Tijuana, BC)
Television: United States - Azteca America; Mexico - Azteca 7
Streaming: Sling TV
In what will be the 200th match played at Estadio Caliente, Xolos’ 10 year anniversary celebrations will get underway. The mood of the sellout crowd will be festive, but there are some worries around the club. Xolos were unable to get any sustainable offense going in their 2-0 loss to Monarcas Morelia, and Dayro Moreno - the Liga MX co-leading scorer in the 2016 Apertura - is in Colombia as he prepares to join Atlético Nacional on loan.
There were some bright spots for Tijuana, however. Young goalkeeper Gibran Lajud did well, stopping a penalty and looking calm and composed throughout the match. The defense did well, although they were forced to push up higher after conceding a goal on a great strike from Carlos Morales.
The biggest concern for Xolos has to be offense. Replacing Paul Arriola with Henry Martín at the half helped some, but Avilés Hurtado and Milton Caraglio were really unable to get more than a couple good looks at goal. Miguel Herrera will have his work cut out for him trying to get the offense functioning at the level Tijuana will need in order to contend.
Coming to town is Puebla, who lost a wild one against Monterrey last week 3-2 when Damián Schmidt shoved down Funes Mori in the box.
It wasn’t all bad for Puebla. Alexis Canelo had a brace, scoring his goals just sixteen minutes apart in the first half.