It wasn’t pretty, but Tijuana got their first Liga MX goal and point of the Eduardo Coudet era, drawing Puebla 1-1 in Estadio Cuauhtemoc.
The first half was largely devoid of any real action. Tijuana looked poor, committing too many fouls and turning the ball over far too often. In the 42nd minute, Lajud came up big on a stop on Christian Marrugo shot from about eight yards out. Minutes later, Lajud came up big on a free kick that he managed to get a fingertip on it and deflect it away from goal.
In the 48th minute, Marrugo would break the tie when he came in unmarked past Damian Musto and Damian Perez and got a clean header on net that Lajud had no shot at stopping.
Xolos would finally break their scoreless streak when Perez was able to spring Gustavo Bou on a fantastic through ball. Bou was able to draw Moises Munoz out and put it past him for Xolos first Liga MX goal in the 2017 Apertura - 325 minutes into the season.
The replay seemed to show the goal was offside, but the AR left his flag at his side and the goal stood. The goals seemed to liven up the play, with both teams able to get some looks at goal. In the 69th minute, Salom would slip past Emanuel Aguilera and get a header on goal, but Lajud made a fantastic save to again keep the sides level. Lajud would deny another Salom header on a diving stop in the 73rd minute. In the 76th Salom was left alone in the box with a wide open net but scuffed the cross.
In the 80th, Bou would have a shot in close but Munoz was able to square up and make a solid stop on the ball.
Tijuana looked like a club trying to do far too much. Guys were taking shots from long-distance, but the shots were wild and not on frame. Guys were also trying to take on the entire Puebla defense by themselves with predictably poor results.
In one of the stranger sequences, both Michael Orozco and Israel Villasenor were shown yellow cards. Villasenor was on the bench at the time and it was immediately unclear why he and Orozco were booked.
Late in the game Lajud was drawn out when Francisco Acuna managed to beat the offside trap. Acuna was able to dribble wide of Lajud and shoot, but Aguilera was there to clear the ball off of the line. Moments later on the corner kick, Lajud punched the ball out, but it went to Acuna who missed a wide open net. Moments later, the referee would end the game.
Xolos have shown steady improvement every match, and while they didn’t look as cohesive (especially defensively) as they have in the past few games, they were able to get a point on the road and finally get a goal. These are tangible results to build on, but you also get the sense that unless marked improvement is shown on the scoresheet that Coudet’s seat could be getting warmer.
Club Puebla: Moises Munoz; Brayan Angulo, Erik Pimentel, Alonso Zamora, Hugo Rodriguez; Oscar Rojas, Jose Guerrero, Christian Marrugo, Francisco Acuna; Felix Micolta (Carlos Gutierrez - 55’), Carlos Salom (Jonas Aguirre - 78’)
Club Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Michael Orozco, Emanuel Aguilera, Damian Perez; Damian Musto; Joe Corona, Luis Chavez (Alejandro Guido, 72’); Luis Mendoza (Edgar Lopez, 72’) , Ignacio Malcorra; Gustavo Bou
Scoring: Club Puebla - Christian Marrugo (48’); Club Tijuana -
Disciplinary: Club Puebla - Israel Villasenor (Yellow - 87’); Club Tijuana - Gustavo Bou (Yellow - 70’), Michael Orozco (Yellow - 87’)