March is said to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. Tonight’s match was the opposite - calm and almost boring at first and then absolutely wild at the end.
Tijuana fairly well dominated the first half of play. Early on Xolos were able to dictate the tempo and get off a few shots on some good looks at goal. Unfortunately for Miguel Herrera’s side, none of the shots early on were troubling goalkeeper Agustín Marchesín, however Marchesín and Club América committed some sloppy turnovers to allow Xolos to come back in on goal.
In the 17th minute, Miky Arroyo drove deep along the end line and fired off a tough angle shot. Gibran Lajud was able to stop it but not control it and it went out for a corner kick. Luckily for Xolos the resulting corner kick went nowhere.
Lajud would be tested again when Silvio Romero fired a bullet from distance, however Lajud made a fantastic reaction save to keep the match scoreless.
In the 29th minute, a great pass from Guido Rodríguez sprung Paul Arriola in on goal. Arriola coolly put a shot past , and Xolos lead 1-0.
Xolos seemed to feed off of this goal, and Avilés Hurtado put on a clinic. The diminutive Colombian was all over the place, frustrating the Águilas defenders with his ability to escape trouble. Xolos went into the locker room at the half clearly the better side.
In the second half, Ricardo La Volpe went through América’s subs within the first ten minutes. At the half he substituted out Darwin Quintero and José Guerrero for Carlos Rosel and Gerson Torres, and then shortly after the 50th minute Paolo Goltz went up for a ball and landed a bit awkwardly. It didn’t look like Goltz was touched by anyone - he just landed wrong and had to take a cart ride off. He was replaced shortly after in the 54th minute by former Xolo Javier Güémez.
América had a good chance off of a corner in the 74th minute, however Pablo Aguilar’s running header went just wide of the goal mouth.
In the 78th minute, Javier Güémez went in for a ball and kicked Guido Rodríguez in the head. Güémez was shown a straight red card, and the América players rushed the referee. The tense match got even more so when on the next play Miguel Samudio threw a shoulder at Avilés Hurtado, who immediately got up and into Samudio’s face. Luckily the situation was defused before anyone else was sent to an early bath.
Xolos were able to hang on and get the win, however as soon as the whistle blew, Pablo Aguilar ran over to the referee and headbutted him and started berating him. The referee showed him a red card and Aguilar was restrained first by Joe Corona and then by his teammates.
Real classy by Pablo Aguilar of América there..... pic.twitter.com/gEGqgeHQaD— The Bolivian Yank (@TheBolivianYank) March 9, 2017
Agustín Marchesín then ran in and started streaming at the referees, and had to be pulled off by teammates as well. Even Miguel Herrera - not usually known for being a peacemaker - was out trying to convince the América players to remain calm. Order was eventually restored.
Xolos: Gibran Lajud; Damián Pérez, Carlos Vargas, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Michael Orozco; Avilés Hurtado (Hiram Muñoz, 90’), Joe Corona, Guido Rodríguez (Juan Carlos Medina, 83’), Paul Arriola; Victor Malcorra; Milton Caraglio (Henry Martín, 70’)
Club América: Agustín Marchesín; Miguel Samudio, Pablo Aguilar, Paolo Goltz (Javier Güémez, 54’), Edson Álvarez, Bruno Valdez; Miguel Arroyo, William da Silva, José Guerrero (Gerson Torres, 46’), Darwin Quintero (Carlos Rosel, 46’); Silvio Romero
Scoring: Xolos - Paul Arriola (29’); América - None
Disciplinary: Xolos - Guido Rodríguez (Yellow - 63’), Avilés Hurtado (Yellow - 73’); América - Pablo Aguilar (Yellow - 36’), Carlos Rosel (Yellow - 56’), Miguel Arroyo (Yellow - 66’), Javier Güémez (Red - 79’)