Xolos went down a man and a goal early and never fully recovered, losing 3-0 in Morelia against Monarcas. Diego Valdés had a brace while Sebastián Sosa kept a clean sheet to help Monarcas leapfrog Tijuana in the standings.
Morelia did well early, doing well in possession and creating some chances on goal. They were however caught offside on more than one occasion, nullifying a couple of scoring opportunities including a Raul Ruidíaz shot that hit off of the post.
Emmanuel Aguilera was sent off after picking up his second yellow card in the 16th minute for a studs up challenge. While his second challenge was without doubt, his first deserves a second look.
El problema es la primera amarilla, me parece exagerada pic.twitter.com/c5pKma4Vwr— Juan Heriberto (@JuanHeribertoMF) September 30, 2017
Minutes later, Diego Valdés would find a seam in the Xolos depleted defense and would slip through onside. Gibran Lajud didn’t really stand much of a chance one-on-one about ten yards out, and Valdés didn’t miss.
In the 30th minute, Gustavo Bou was sprung on the counterattack. Carlos Guzmán defended Bou well, and Sebastián Sosa left Bou with nowhere to go with the shot and stopped it easily. Moments later, Morelia was in onside again but Lajud read it well and was able to block the shot. Lajud would make a couple of solid saves throughout the first half, keeping Xolos in the match. In the 43rd minute off of a free kick, Rodrigo “Chino” Millar had a good header on goal at close range but Lajud read it perfectly and smothered the chance.
Eduardo Coudet made tactical changes at the half, bringing in defensive midfielder Alejandro Guido for Joe Corona and Quick Mendoza on for Juan Iturbe. Morelia countered by bringing on Rodolfo Vilchis for Gastón Lezcano.
The changes worked well. Xolos were able to create a few decent chances, while Morelia seemed content to be up a goal and a man. In the 70th minute, Pantera Bou made a great run from deep but Sosa again forced his hand and Bou ran out of room before he could get off a good shot.
It wasn’t to be though, as Monarcas would put it out of reach in the 76th minute. Rodolfo Vilchis drove across the top of the box and hit a blast that Lajud had no chance at to put the game out of reach.
Morelia would extend their lead in the 83rd minute when Lajud gave up a huge rebound on a long distance shot from Mono Osasuna. He was able to get back into position to stop the first follow up by Ruidíaz, but he couldn’t stop Diego Valdés on the second rebound. Valdés banged in his second of the evening.
Lajud would prevent a fourth goal by making a great point-blank stop on Ruidíaz and then making the stop on the follow up shot as the clock crept past 90’, but there would be no more scoring on the evening.
It will be two weeks until the next matches, thanks to the international break. Xolos will return home to face Veracruz on October 13, while Morelia will play Chivas the following day in Guadalajara.
Monarcas Morelia: Sebastián Sosa; Carlos Rodríguez, Sebastián Vegas, Jorge Valadéz, Carlos Guzmán; Rodrigo Millar (Juan Rodríguez, 71’), Diego Valdés, Mario Osuna; Ángel Sepúlveda, Gastón Lezcano (Rodolfo Vilchis, 46’), Raúl Ruidíaz
Club Tijuana: Gibarn Lajud; Damián Pérez, Emmanuel Aguilera, Alejandro Donatti, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Matías Aguirregaray (Miller Bolaños, 71’); Damián Musto, Joe Corona (Alejandro Guido, 46’), Ignacio Malcorra; Juan Iturbe (Luis Mendoza, 46’), Gustavo Bou
Scoring: Monarcas Morelia - Diego Valdés (20’,83’), Rodolfo Vilchis (76’); Club Tijuana - None
Disciplinary: Monarcas Morelia - Jorge Valadéz (Yellow - 31’); Club Tijuana - Emmanuel Aguilera (Yellow - 4’, Yellow - 16’), Juan Carlos Valenzuela (Yellow - 24’)