The 200th match played at Estadio Caliente was one the home fans won’t soon forget, as Avilés Hurtado had a brace and Joe Corona’s first goal of the Clausura added to his legend in Tijuana, leading Xolos to a 6-2 thrashing of Puebla.
Just three minutes in, Milton Caraglio made a great run down the left, and cut it back past two defenders to Avilés Hurtado. Hurtado scuffed his shot, but it seemed to catch Cristian Campestrini off guard and the ball wound up in the back of the net.
Xolos looked much different than they did against Monarcas last week, connecting on wide, sweeping passes from one side of the pitch to the other. Puebla, by contrast, spent most of the first half working their left side of the pitch against Paul Arriola and Michael Orozco using short, tiki-taka style passes.
In the 27th minute, Paul Arriola found Caraglio again on a cross into the box. Caraglio headed it forward to Hurtado, who poked it in past Campestrini - however he was (correctly) ruled offside by the linesman.
In the 37th minute, Puebla was awarded a penalty when Paul Arriola kicked the legs out from under an airborne Gabriel Esparza. Pedro Canela converted it, and it was knotted up.
Tijuana applied some good pressure before the break, and it paid off when Hurtado was able to capitalize on a mistake by Robert Herrera, and beat Campestrini for his second goal of the game.
Xolos would go into the half up a goal and with momentum clearly on their side.
In the 59th minute, a scrum in the box would see Patricio Araujo slot one past Lajud to draw Puebla level once more.
This would be short lived however, as Paul Arriola would corral this loose ball at the edge of the 18 and unleash a screamer that put Xolos back up on top 3-2.
Milton Caraglio would add to Xolos lead in the 65th off of a contortionist’s goal, twisting and turning to strike the ball while falling after a bad clearance from a Puebla defender.
Shortly thereafter in the 79th minute, Robert Herrera picked up a red card just outside of the 18. On the ensuing free kick, Victor Malcorra put together a work of art.
Malcorra made that look so effortless, almost like a pro golfer sinking a short putt. Campestrini hardly moved on the kick, and the rout was on - but not over. Three minutes later, Xolos’ prodigal son Joe Corona scored his first goal since returning from loan off of another bad clearance by Puebla.
Xolos: Gibran Lajud; Damián Pérez, Emanuel Aguilera, Juan Valenzuela, Michael Orozco; Victor Malcorra, Juan Carlos Medina (Joe Corona, 63’), Guido Rodríguez, Paul Arriola; Avilés Hurtado (Yasser Corona, 85’), Milton Caraglio (Juan Martín Lucero, 81’)
Puebla: Cristian Campestrini; Óscar Rojas, Robert Herrera, Patricio Araujo, Damián Schmidt; Gabriel Esparza, Francisco Torres (Francisco Acuña, 71’), David Toledo, Carlos Orrantía; Alexis Canelo (Eduardo Pérez, 78’), Álvaro Navarro (Jerónimo Amione, 69’)
Scoring: Xolos - Avilés Hurtado (3’,45’), Paul Arriola (61’), Milton Caraglio (67’), Victor Malcorra (82’), Joe Corona (84’); Puebla - Alexis Canelo (41’ - Penalty), Patricio Araujo (59’)
Disciplinary: Xolos - Damián Pérez (Yellow - 20’); Puebla - Robert Herrera (Red - 79’)