While the match started out like one Tijuana would either lose or somehow manage to back their way into a draw with León, a stellar performance from Avilés Hurtado helped Xolos win their fourth straight by a score of 4-2.
Before the match, the club’s thought were with injured teammate Yasser Corona, including this emotional tribute tweeted out below.
León got the scoring started early when Elías Hernández was sprung on a breakaway. Gibran Lajud came too far off of his line, allowing Hernández to chip him and give La Fiera the early lead.
León would almost score again in the eleventh minute when another defensive breakdown lead to another chance at goal, but luckliy Damián Pérez was able to intervene and get a head on the ball to clear out the danger.
in the 19th minute, Michael Orozco came off the field with an injury to his left ankle. It didn’t look too serious, but it was enough to pull him off of the field. Juan Carlos Núñez was brought onto the field in his place, allowing Paul Arriola to push further up field and a bit more centrally.
In the 31st minute, Xolos fortunes would change. Avilés Hurtado went into the box and received a cleat to his calf. The referee did not hesitate to call the penalty, much to the dismay of the fans in the stands. Hurtado went up and drilled the penalty past William Yarbrough, leveling up the score. He then pulled out a #FuerzaYasser shirt for injured teammate Yasser Corona.
Minutes later, Xolos almost drew ahead when Victor Malcorra was driving down the left wing and hit a shot on frame. William Yarbrough got both hands on the shot, and tipped the ball up and into the crossbar, where it was cleared out.
Then in the 39th minute, Hurtado was able to draw another penalty when he got on the end of a pass into the box. Yarbrough came out and slid to try and intercept the ball. As Hurtado tried to side step the goalkeeper, his trailing foot was hit by Yarbrough and he went down. Milton Caraglio stepped up and coolly hit the penalty to put Xolos up a goal, and it would stay that way as the teams went into the locker room.
The second half started out with both teams getting good looks at goal, but neither was really able to convert. Gibran Lajud made a couple of good saves,
A bit of a scene on the León bench when Andrés Andrade was subbed out for Gullit Peña. When Andrade came off, he began yelling at head coach Javier Torrente, who walked back off of his line and gave Andrade an earful as Andrade took a seat on the bench.
It may have been a bit prescient of Andrade, because minutes later Peña had his pocket picked by Guido Rodríguez, who rocketed one past Yarbrough to give Xolos a 3-1 lead.
León had a couple of chances as the game wore on, but the Xolos defense held fast. Tijuana would get another when Hurtado was again sprung downfield. He raced down, drawing the defense to him before making an outlet pass to Paul Arriola, who fired it past Yarbrough to make it 4-1.
La Fiera wasn’t quite done though, as Gullit Peña drew one back in the 82nd minute, getting his foot on the end of a good cross from Germán Cano and re-directing it past Lajud for a consolation goal.
In the end though, Avilés Hurtado and Xolos were just too much for León, with Xolos winning their fourth straight match. After the match, the team posed for a photograph for the injured Corona.
León: William Yarbrough; Fernando Navarro, Guillermo Burdisso, Ignacio González, Osvaldo Rodríguez; Alexander Mejía, Juan Cornejo (Maximiliano Moralez, 46’), Andrés Andrade (Carlos Peña, 54’); Elías Hernández, Luis Montes (Germán Cano, 67’), Mauro Boselli
Xolos: Gibran Lajud; Damián Pérez, Emanuel Aguilera, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Michael Orozco (Juan Carlos Núñez, 19’), Paul Arriola; Joe Corona (Juan Carlos Medina, 82’), Guido Rodríguez; Avilés Hurtado, Victor Malcorra, Milton Caraglio (Juan Martín Lucero, 66’)
Scoring: León - Elías Hernández (6’), Carlos Peña (85’); Xolos - Avilés Hurtado (32’), Milton Caraglio (40’), Guido Rodríguez (63’), Paul Arriola (77’)
Disciplinary: León - William Yarbrough (Yellow - 39’); Xolos - Milton Caraglio (Yellow - 42’)