Club Tijuana and Club Santos battled to a 1-1 draw in Baja California Norte this evening. Neither side played their best match, however there were moments of brilliance and moments of drama and controversy.
There was a bit of controversy early in the match when Milton Caraglio was knocked down in the box by Santos center back Carlos Izquierdoz, however no call was made. While it might have been a bit of a soft penalty, contact was made and penalties have been awarded for less.
In the 23rd minute, Osvaldito Martinez was able to nutmeg Juan Carlos Medina and then hit a laser into the top corner, giving Santos the 1-0 lead.
In the 32nd minute, Milton Caraglio whistled a shot that just missed the corner. A minute later, Caraglio got on the end of a cross from Nacho Malcorra, however his shot went square into Jona Orozco’s chest.
Tijuana had a decent first half, however much like their Copa MX match against Monarcas Morelia they were unable to finish the few chances they were able to get against the Santos defense.
Paul Arriola came on at the half, and in the 49th minute was able to put a great shot on goal that Jona Orozco only just got to. Arriola was a spark to an otherwise moribund Xolos offense, perhaps spurred on by being left off of the United States National Team squad.
In the 53rd, Milton Caraglio muffed a clearance into Ulises Rivas, who hit a scissor kick that just missed the frame. In the 59th minute, Caraglio got his head on an incoming corner kick but Orozco made a fantastic save to tip the ball over the bar.
Over the next 20 minutes, Xolos applied near constant pressure on Santos but to no avail. Santos would force Xolos out wide and allow them movement vertically but not allowing anything in toward the center.
In the 78th minute, Xolos again had a possible penalty not called when Avilés Hurtado was pulled down in the box. While there wasn’t much contact, there was contact made and again penalties have been called for much less.
In the 82nd, Nacho Malcorra again hit an inch-perfect cross into the box however Juan Martín Lucero didn’t get a good touch on the ball and it went harmlessly wide. Two minutes later, Djaniny drove down the pitch and made an excellent attempt at goal but Lajud came up big, swatting the shot away.
In the 86th, tensions boiled over when Guido Rodríguez and Djaniny Tavares got tangled up. Kicks were exchanged, and each player was shown a yellow card - in Rodríguez’ case it was his second and signaled the end of his night. This caused a mass confrontation with the referees by Xolos players, however calm and order were restored fairly quickly.
In the second of the four minutes of added time, Avilés Hurtado hit a long shot that Jona Orozco stopped but gave up a huge rebound. Juan Martín Lucero redeemed his earlier misses and buried it into the back of the net, tying the match at the death.
After the match, some of the Xolos players surrounded the referees to voice their displeasure with the non-calls that went against Tijuana. Unlike the ugly scenes a couple of weeks ago, the discussions were heated and passionate but not threatening toward the referees.
Xolos: Gibran Lajud; Damián Pérez, Carlos Vargas (Juan Martín Lucero, 77’), Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Michael Orozco; Juan Carlos Medina (Paul Arriola, 46’), Guido Rodríguez, Avilés Hurtado, Victor Malcorra; Henry Martín (Matías Pisano, 63’), Milton Caraglio
Santos: Jonathan Orozco; Jorge Villafana, Nestor Araujo, Carlos Izquierdoz, Jorge Sanchez; Gael Sandoval, Osvaldo Martinez (Ulises Dávila, 71’), Jorge Enriquez, Ulíses Rivas (Diego de Buen, 68’); Djaniny, Julio Furch (Jonathan Rodriguez, 79’)
Scoring: Xolos - None; Santos - Osvaldo Martinez (23’)
Disciplinary: Xolos - Guido Rodríguez (Yellow, 57’, 86’), Damián Pérez (Yellow, 70’); Santos - Gael Sandoval (Yellow, 72’), Jonathan Orozco (Yellow, 82’), Djaniny Tavares (Yellow, 86’)