A strong performance from top to bottom by the hosts saw Club Tijuana head to the top of the table (if only briefly) with a win over Club Puebla. Gustavo “Pantera” Bou and Juan Lucero had goals for Xolos, who improved to 2W 2D 0L while Puebla fell to 2W 0D 2L.
Tijuana came out strong, using a high press against Puebla to limit the time the Puebla defense had on the ball. Puebla had the first good chance in the eighth minute, when a sloppy clearance saw the ball fall to the feet of Canadian international Lucas Cavallini. Cavallini’s shot scuffed off of the side of his foot thought, and Gibran Lajud was able to catch it cleanly.
Tijuana would be the first to break through though. In the 12th minute, Pantera Bou tried to one-time a pass from Ignacio “Nacho” Malcorra. Bou scuffed the shot, and it went out of the box to Luis Chávez. Chávez also scuffed his shot, but it wound up in front of Bou, who buried his shot past a helpless Moisés Muñoz to put the border dogs up 1-0.
Xolos kept the pressure on. In the 24th minute, Xolos almost got a second when Juan Lucero hit one off of the post. Muñoz was able to slap the rebound away from Lucero to keep the deficit at one goal. While Puebla dominated the possession in the first half, it was Xolos who took the one goal lead into the break.
In the second half, Xolos came out looking to retain more possession while still staying on the front foot. In the 47th minute, Luis Chávez had a rip after a pass sequence that went into the double-digits.
In the 54th minute, Pantera Bou took a great pass from Damián Pérez and hit a rolling shot across the front of the goal that hit the post. Juan Lucero hit the rebound but knew he’d played it in an offside position.
In the 63rd, Nacho Malcorra drove in and hit a rocket that Muñoz punched out. In the 70th minute, Miller Bolaños collected a pass in the box, but an extra touch saw the Puebla defense get in position and block the shot.
In the 72nd minute, Nacho Malcorra rished down the lef, hit a beautiful cross, and Juan Lucero was able to get on the end of it and put it past Muñoz to double Tijuana’s lead.
Lucero had a great look at goal just two minutes later, driving from the left and shooting with his right across the grain. Muñoz was able to punch it out though to keep his team close.
Puebla looked completely out of ideas offensively. Even late when they were pressing up to try and find a late goal, Los Camoteros just couldn’t solve Tijuana’s staunch defense.
Xolos heads on the road to Torreón to face Santos Laguna next Saturday, while Puebla will host Chivas on Friday.
Club Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Damián Pérez, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Pablo Aguilar, Omar Mendoza; Ignacio Malcorra, Luis Chávez (Luís Mendoza, 80’), Damián Musto (Alejandro Guido, 77’), Ignacio Rivero; Juan Lucero, Gustavo Bou (Miller Bolaños, 67’)
Club Puebla: Moisés Muñoz; Brayan Angulo, Alonso Zamora, Hugo Rodríguez, Luis Venegas; Jorge Enríquez (Francisco Torres, 65’), Alejandro Chumacero, Francisco Acuña, Christian Marrugo (Matheus Ribiero, 59’); Omar Fernández ( Escoboza, 74’), Lucas Cavallini
Scoring: Club Tijuana - Gustavo Bou (12’); Club Puebla - None
Disciplinary: Club Tijuana - Damián Pérez (Yellow - 24’), Damián Musto (Yellow - 33’), Ignacio Rivero (Yellow - 62’), Juan Lucero (75’); Club Puebla - Lucas Cavallini (Yellow - 32’), Alonso Zamora (Yellow - 55’)