In an unprecedented step, the Jornada 11 Liga MX matches were broadcast across multiple networks in the United States in both Spanish and English as part of the #UnitedForEachOther / #UnidosPorLosNuestros campaign. The campaign raises donations for the American Red Cross to assist with disaster relief in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and Mexico. The final match of the night was Club Tijuana hosting Tigres UANL, and it was well worth the wait.
In the fifth minute, André-Pierre Gignac had the first good chance of the match with a shot, but Gibran Lajud was up to the task and made the save. Xolos formation was as fluid as I can remember seeing it. Nacho Malcorra, usually out wide left and high up in the formation, often found himself playing centrally near Enzo Kalinski. Miller Bolaños - a center forward by trade - would drop back into the midfield one minute and then race up ahead of Pantera Bou.
Xolos had a great chance before the 30th minute struck when Bou spring Juan Iturbe on a great pass forward. Bou then backheeled it over to Bolaños, whose shot was saved well by Nahuel Guzmán.
Xolos were able to stifle Tigres’ offense for the most part in the first half while being able to break fairly regularly.
Shortly after the start of the second half, Xolos put together a fantastic sequence of passes but Juan Iturbe’s shot was scuffed and easily saved by Nahuel.
In the 54th minute, Javier Aquino hit a cross over to Eduardo Vargas. Vargas hit the half-volley against the grain, catching Gibran Lajud leaning the wrong way. That was enough daylight for Vargas’ shot to get past Lajud and put Tigres on the board first.
In the 60th minute, Pantera Bou was able to make a break but Guzman stopped the shot rather easily. At the other end, Enner Valencia was able to break in alone on Lajud, but the goalkeeper was able to swat the ball off of Valencia’s foot to remove the danger.
Xolos also had reason to believe there should have been a handball called on an Iturbe shot on this play (probably because it was clearly a handball by Juninho).
In the 83rd minute, Nacho Malcorra took a free kick from about 20 yards out and though the shot arced, it still hit off of the crossbar and out.
Minutes later, Pantera Bou would make a couple of fantastic moves to draw a foul close to the box. The resulting free kick however was almost headed in by Gignac, but it skimmed the outside of the post.
Try as they might, Xolos were simply unable to come up with the equalizer and lost their first match since August 4th. There were plenty of positives for Xolos to take from the match. They held their own against a formidable Tigres side, and on many other nights would have come away with the points. They’ll need to put this one behind them quickly, as they will face Monarcas Morelia on Friday in Morelia. Tigres will be hosting Chivas on Saturday.
Club Tijuana: Gibran Lajud, Damián Pérez, Emmanuel Aguilera, Alejandro Donatti, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Matías Aguirregaray (Juan Carlos Núñez, 80’); Ignacio Malcorra, Enzo Kalinski, Miller Bolaños; Gustavo Bou, Juan Iturbe (Luis Mendoza, 62’)
Tigres UANL: Nahuel Guzmán; Juninho, Hugo Ayala, Jorge Torres Nilo, Luis Rodríguez; Rafael Carioca, Javier Aquino, Jesús Dueñas; Eduardo Vargas, André-Pierre Gignac, Enner Valencia (Francisco Meza, 90’)
Scoring: Tijuana - None; Tigres - Eduardo Vargas (54’)
Disciplinary: Tijuana - Matías Aguirregaray (Yellow - 31’), Emmanuel Aguilera (Yellow - 45+1’); Tigres - Eduardo Vargas (Yellow - 31’), Jesús Dueñas (Yellow - 70’), Juninho (Yellow - 85’)