Necaxa came into Tijuana underdogs. They left with a solid 2-1 win over a hot Xolos team that dominated most of the match. Los Rayos withstood a withering attack from the home side and was able to make the most of their opportunities, handing Tijuana their first home loss of the Clausura.
Xolos had the majority of the chances in the beginning of the match. Avilés Hurtado had a good opportunity in on goal early, however he and Necaxa goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero got tangled up and Hurtado’s knee hyperextended. It looked awful on the replay, however luckily Hurtado was quickly back out on the pitch. Victor Malcorra rang a shot off of the post in the 17th minute, and in the 20th minute Paul Arriola nutmegged the defender on a cross that forced Barovero to dive and push out. The ball went to Hurtado, however he was coming in too fast and the ball was past him before he could get a foot on it.
There was a bit of controversy in the 42nd minute as Milton Caraglio was run into from behind as he dribbled into the box, however no call was made. Avilés Hurtado and Paul Arriola had free reign on the right side of the pitch, however Xolos were unable to score and the clubs went into the locker room tied 0-0 at the half.
In the 50th minute, Xolos had another good chance at goal as Milton Caraglio drove in and shot. The shot deflected off of a defender to Avilés Hurtado, who crossed it into the center of the box. It deflected off of a Necaxa defender on goal, however right into the arms of Marcelo Barovero.
In the 57th minute, Joe Corona was able to drive in and hit a thunderous shot on goal that Barovero was able to push wide. Minutes later, disaster struck for Xolos as Claudio Riaño set a beautiful backheel in to Manuel Iturra. Iturra took a step and fired it back across toward Riaño, who continued his run toward goal. Joe Corona doesn’t drop back to defend (in all fairness, that’s not his assignment), meaning Juan Carlos Valenzuela should have picked up the incoming Riaño. Riaño split the center backs and fired a ball in past Gibran Lajud, putting Los Rayos up 1-0.
Shortly after this, Paul Arriola is substituted off for Juan Martín Lucero. While I don’t disagree with putting Lucero on, Arriola was having a great game up to that point. He had been marauding up the right side of the pitch all night, giving Necaxa fits (and perhaps more importantly, giving Xolos chances at goal).
The match wasn’t finished however, and neither was Riaño. In the 85th minute, a scrum broke out in front of Marcelo Barovero. After a flurry of shots from Xolos, the ball was cleared downfield. Edson Puch was able to corral the ball and draw in all three defenders before finding an outlet to an open Riaño, who put his second of the match behind Lajud.
Again, this is just sloppy defending on the part of Xolos. Emanuel Aguilera bit hard on the fake by Puch, getting drawn in too far out and too deep to make any sort of move toward Riaño. Juan Martín Lucero was able to put Xolos on the board when he buried this blast into the top of the net, however this would be the final play of the match.
Xolos will look to rebound when they head to CDMX to take on Pumas next Sunday, while Necaxa looks to host Jaguares on Wednesday in Copa MX action before hosting Querétaro on Saturday in Liga MX play.
Xolos: Gibran Lajud; Damián Pérez, Emanuel Aguilera, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Juan Carlos Núñez (Henry Martín, 87’), Paul Arriola (Juan Martín Lucero, 69’); Joe Corona, Guido Rodríguez; Avilés Hurtado, Victor Malcorra (Matías Pisano, 81’), Milton Caraglio
Necaxa: Marcelo Barovero, Severo Meza, Marcos González, Mario de Luna, Jairo González (Brayan Beckeles, 77’), Manuel Iturra, Xavier Báez, Felipe Gallegos, Jesús Isijara (Nicolás Maturana, 89’), Claudio Riaño (Maxi Barreiro, 86’), Edson Puch
Scoring: Xolos - Juan Martín Lucero (90+5’); Necaxa - Claudio Riaño (67’, 86’)
Disciplinary: Xolos - Avilés Hurtado (Yellow - 56’), Emanuel Aguilera (Yellow - 74’); Necaxa - None