It wasn’t the prettiest win, but it was enough to see Tijuana through to the next round, as Xolos win 2-0 and 2-1 on the aggregate against Monarcas Morelia.
Tijuana started out on the front foot, having a few good chances early on. Aviles Hurtado was pushed out wide in place of Paul Arriola, with Henry Martin and Milton Caraglio playing more centrally. Morelia was content to sit back and let Xolos run at them, keeping men back behind the play.
The first good chance for Xolos was in the 19th minute, when Aviles Hurtado got on the end of a cross and his header hit off of the post and out.
Xolos would finally crack the Morelia defense in the 41st minute when a corner kick was headed on goal by Joe Corona. Corona’s shot was deflected by Henry Martin past Sebastian Sosa and Xolos had drawn level just before the half.
The second half saw the physical play ratcheted up on both sides of the ball. While Morelia was the team most in need of a goal, it was Xolos who found themselves with the majority of the chances.
in the 79th minute, Morelia was awarded a free kick deep. The kick took a deflection, and Gibran Lajud made a spectacular diving save to keep Xolos up. A minute later, Xolos hit Morelia on the counterattack. A great pass forward from Nacho Malcorra found Aviles Hurtado in stride. Hurtado was tackled from behind, but managed to slot the ball across to Juan Martin Lucero, who did not miss.
Morelia had a decent chance in the 86th minute on a header from distance that Lajud slapped away, off of the post, and out. The play was whistled offside, but was pretty emblematic of the night. Try as they might, Morelia
Xolos will play Tigres in the semifinal round. The dates and times will be announced at a later date and time.
Xolos: Gibran Lajud; Carlos Vargas, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Damian Perez, Juan Carlos Nunez; Guido Rodríguez, Joe Corona, Victor Malcorra; Aviles Hurtado (Hiram Munoz, 89’), Milton Caraglio (Juan Martin Lucero, 72’), Henry Martin (Luis Chavez, 76’)
Morelia: Sebastian Sosa; Enrique Perez, Emanuel Loeschbor, Gerardo Rodríguez (Fernando Ortiz, 78’), Gabriel Achilier; Mario Osuna (Rodolfo Vilchis, 46’, Diego Valdes, 67’), Rodrigo Millar, Aldo Rocha; Gaston Lezcano, Miguel Sansores, Jefferson Cuero
Scoring: Xolos - Henry Martin (41’); Morelia - None
Disciplinary: Xolos - Guido Rodriguez (Yellow - 28’); Morelia - Miguel Sansores (Yellow - 47’), Diego Valdes (Yellow, 74’)