Avilés Hurtado continues to make his case for being the best player in Liga MX, getting several good chances on net and converting a penalty to get Tijuana three very important points on the road.
During the warmups, the players all wore shirts in honor of Yasser Corona, who spent three years with Los Gallos Blancos before moving to Xolos.
Both teams had some decent chances in the first half, with Xolos perhaps getting the better of the looks at goal. In the eighth minute, Andrés Rentería hit a curling shot from the top of the box that went just outside of the far post. In the 14th minute, Paul Arriola hit a great cross into the box. Avilés Hurtado got up and hit a header square on goal, however it went straight into the chest of Tiago Volpi.
In the 26th minute, Nacho Malcorra hit a shot that went just wide of Volpi’s net. In the 37th, Yerson Candelo played a perfect give-and-go with Luis Miguel Noriega, however Candelo skied the shot. In the 42nd, a foul on Damián Pérez set up a free kick from about 20 yards out. Nacho Malcorra’s shot just glanced off of the outside of the post. The clubs would go into the half knotted 0-0.
In the 56th minute, Hurtado was driving in the box and was bumped off of the ball by Neri Cardozo, however the referee did not deem there was enough contact to warrant the penalty call. Disaster struck for Xolos in the 61st minute, when Juan Carlos Nuñez (who was already sitting on a yellow card) picked up a second when Miguel Martínez kicked a ball past him and then ran into him. While it looked a foul, the yellow - especially a second yellow - looked a bit harsh. Nonetheless, Nuñez was off and Xolos were down to ten men.
In the 63rd, Yerson Candelo came in down the side and hit a hard shot on goal, but Gibran Lajud did well to come out to cut down the angle and deflected the shot out of bounds. Minutes later, Milton Caraglio played a great ball to Paul Arriola on the break, but it was well defended by an inch-perfect tackle to clear out the danger.
In the 74th, Camilo kicked Avilés Hurtado’s knee in the box and the penalty was awarded. Hurtado did not miss from the spot, beating Volpi to the top corner and putting the shorthanded side up 1-0 late in the match.
In the 79th, Camilo almost made up for conceding the penalty with a blast from the right side of the six yard box, but it went over the bar. A minute later Jaime Gómez hit a long range blast that had Lajud beat but just skimmed the top of the bar.
In the 84th minute, Gibran Lajud mistimed a jump for a ball coming into the box off of a free kick. Tito Villa had beaten his man and came in on goal, but the ball went off of his face and away from goal.
As the clock moved past 90, Miguel Martínez got on the end of a great cross into the box. Martínez however could not get his head on the ball. A minute later, Édgar Benítez had drawn Lajud well off of his line and Lajud went down to try and pick up the ball, knocking Benítez down. The Gallos Blancos were furious that no penalty was awarded, and the game ended 1-0.
Xolos did a great job at just choking the run of play late. Taking their time on setting up corner kicks and set plays just enough where it wasn’t time wasting, but it did waste time. These are the little things that Xolos haven’t really shown a mastery of until late, and it’s encouraging to see these nuances being picked up.
Xolos head to Tuxtla Gutíerrez to face Chiapas Jaguares, while Querétaro head to México City to face Club América. Both matches are Saturday
Xolos: Gibran Lajud; Carlos Vargas, Juan Carlos Nuñez, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Damián Pérez; Guido Rodríguez, Joe Corona, Victor Malcorra (Hiram Muñoz, 65’); Paul Arriola, Avilés Hurtado, Milton Caraglio (Juan Martín Lucero, 78’)
Querétaro: Tiago Volpi; Ricardo Esquedo, Miguel Martínez, Hiram Mier, Jaime Gómez; Marco Jiménez; Andrés Rentería (Édgar Benítez, 58’), Neri Cardozo (Édgar Gerardo Lugo, 79’), Luis Miguel Noriega (Camilo Sanvezzo, 69’), Yerson Candelo; Emanuel Villa
Scoring: Querétaro- None; Xolos - Avilés Hurtado (Penalty, 75’)
Disciplinary: Querétaro- Ricardo Esquedo (Yellow, 29’); Xolos - Juan Carlos Nuñez (Yellow, 16’, 61’), Damián Pérez (Yellow, 84’)