If their match last week against Monterrey was their apex, tonight’s match against Pachuca was Tijuana’s nadir. An uninspired performance that saw both teams resorting to physical play ended with Tuzos on top of the table and one of Mexico’s brightest young stars in a Tijuana hospital.
The first half was a very physical affair. Hirving Lozano was injured just after the 10th minute when Michael Orozco stepped on his foot as Chucky was running away from him, resulting in Lozano being stretchered off of the pitch and taken to the hospital. ESPN’s David Failteson tweeted this out during halftime, which says the injury while serious, isn’t as bad as first feared.
"Chucky" Lozano: herida de 4 centímetros muy profunda en la pierna derecha arriba del tobillo. Esta en el hospital para descartar fractura.— David Faitelson (@Faitelson_ESPN) March 4, 2017
Orozco was only shown a yellow card, although one could not have argued if he had been sent off for that foul. He was subbed out at the half by Miguel Herrera.
In the 44th minute, Tijuana got out on a break and Joe Corona hit a great cross to Damián Pérez, who headed the ball in past Conejo Pérez to give Xolos the lead.
Before the half ended there was an incident where Franco Jara appeared to step on the groin of Guido Rodríguez, however no card was issued (although Rodríguez did get up and immediately get into the face of Jara).
The second half continued the physical play. In the 51st minute, Tuzos would equalize when Roberto Alvarado got on the end of the Jara cross and poked it past Gibran Lajud.
Minutes later, Jara would have the favor returned to him when he was able to walk this cross in unattended to give Pachuca a 2-1 lead.
Then in the 74th Jonathan Urretaviscaya would make it 3-1 on a tough angle shot that Lajud just didn’t stop.
A minute later, Joe Corona picked up his second yellow card and was sent off. Xolos were able to draw one back in added time thanks to a Milton Caraglio goal, but it was too little, too late.
Corona will definitely miss next week’s match against Club América, and I would not be surprised if Orozco misses a match or more. Jara may also miss a match for his action before the half, and we can only hope that Lozano is back sooner rather than later. A photo of the gash on his leg was making the rounds on twitter if you’re interested in seeing that sort of thing. Suffice it to say that while it’s gross and severe, it could have been much, much worse. Lozano will miss a few matches for sure, but he’ll be back at some point.
Xolos: Gibran Lajud; Damián Pérez, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Emanuel Aguilera, Michael Orozco (Juan Carlos Núñez, 46’); Víctor Malcorra, Guido Rodríguez (Jorge Ortiz, 53’); Avilés Hurtado, Joe Corona, Juan Martín Lucero (Henry Martín, 65’); Milton Caraglio
Tuzos: Óscar Pérez; Raúl López, Víctor Guzmán, Óscar Murillo, Omar Gonzalez; Franco Jara (Braian Rodríguez, 65’), Jorge Hernández, Emmanuel García (Érick Aguirre, 54’), Erick Gutiérrez; Hirving Lozano (Roberto Alvarado, 15’), Jonathan Urretaviscaya
Scoring: Xolos - Damián Pérez (44’), Milton Caraglio (90+2’); Tuzos - Roberto Alvarado (51’), Franco Jara (61’), Jonathan Urretaviscaya (74’)
Disciplinary: Xolos - Joe Corona (Yellow, 6’, 75’), Michael Orozco (Yellow, 11’), Víctor Malcorra (73’); Tuzos - Braian Rodríguez (70’)