There were a few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing performance on the road saw Xolos lose 2-0 to Morelia. It was good to see new faces getting minutes in Miguel Herrera’s setup. Paul Arriola started on the right, and it was the much anticipated debut of Gibran Lajud in goal. While both young players did well, it couldn’t overcome the fact that Tijuana looked disjointed in the midfield at times, with players occupying the same space and passes not being crisp. While Morelia wasn’t exactly great, they were able to exploit the weaknesses in Tijuana’s disjointed play.
While Tijuana started off on the front foot, things did take a bit of a disastrous turn when Lajud was shown a yellow card in the 17th minute when he went studs up on a Monarcas player. Lajud was however able to save the penalty with a spectacular diving save.
Al 19' Lajud detuvo el penal de Rodriguez ! pic.twitter.com/qh26m990Mr— NoventaMinutos.MX (@NMinutos) January 8, 2017
Just a minute later though, Carlos Morales hit an absolute golazo, putting it in the top corner out of reach of Lajud and giving Monarcas the lead.
Tijuana never really seemed able to put much together, which is a stark contrast to the Apertura team that seemed to flow effortlessly. That being said, Lajud looked solid in goal - a great sign for the young goalkeeper. It was also a good moment to see Joe Corona back on the pitch for Tijuana when he came on for Juan Carlos Medina in the 58th minute. Corona looked good during his appearance, however even that wasn’t enough to help Xolos get on the scoresheet.
Avilés Hurtado had a great chance in the 87th to tie it up, but his half-volley was pushed wide by Morelia goalkeeper Carlos Rodríguez. Raúl Ruidíaz sealed the match in the 91st minute when he beat his coverage and shot one past Lajud.
Xolos now have an all-time record of four wins, four losses, and three draws now against Monarcas.
Monarcas: Carlos Rodríguez; Carlos Morales, Facundo Erpen, Emanuel Loeschbor; Mario Osuna, Rodrigo Millar, Jorge Zárate, Juan Rodríguez (Aldo Rocha, 66’); Rodolfo Vilchis (Cristian Penilla, 67’), Diego Valdés (Luis Rey, 72’), Raúl Ruidíaz
Xolos: Gibran Lajud; Damián Pérez, Juan Valenzuela, Emanuel Aguilera, Michael Orozco; Juan Carlos Medina (Joe Corona, 58’), Guido Rodríguez; Victor Malcorra (Luis Chávez, 72’), Avilés Hurtado, Paul Arriola (Henry Martin, 45’); Milton Caraglio
Scoring: Monarcas - Carlos Morales (20’), Raúl Ruidíaz (90+1’)
Disciplinary: Monarcas - Facundo Erpen (Yellow - 48’), Rodrigo Millar (Yellow - 67’), Mario Osuna (Yellow - 80’); Xolos - Gibran Lajud (Yellow - 18’), Guido Rodríguez (Yellow - 25’)