Game: Club Puebla vs. Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente
Date: Friday, November 23rd
Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Cuauhtémoc (Puebla de Zaragoza, Pue.)
Referees: REF: Oscar Macías Romo, AR1: Marvin Cesar Torrentera Rivera, AR2: Cesar Cerritos García, 4TH: Erick Yair Miranda Galindo
All-time record: In Liga MX play the teams are split down the middle, with both teams winning five games and drawing four. The teams have faced off once in the Copa MX, with Tijuana winning one and the clubs drawing back in the 2017 Apertura tournament.
Club Tijuana (4W 4D 8L) heads to central Mexico to face Puebla (5W 4D 7L) in the only match of the week featuring both teams who are eliminated from the Liguilla. There are several reasons to watch this one, however.
If you’re a Tijuana fan, it’s a chance to possibly get a look at some of the players who will be playing next season. Young players like Luis Chávez and Antonio Nava are all but guaranteed to get minutes, while others like Hiram Muñoz and Luis Martínez could see action in Franky Oviedo’s lineup. It will also be interesting to see if Miller Bolaños or Erick “Cubo” Torres return to action after being left out of the squad last time out.
Also of interest for Xolos fans will be the burgeoning partnership between Fabián Castillo and Eryc Castillo. The two forwards seemed a bit out of sync early in the last match but seemed to click as the match wore on. Fabián Castillo’s performance will be especially worth watching considering the rumors indicating his former manager at FC Dallas Óscar Pareja will be joining Xolos in the offseason.
For Puebla fans, it remains to be seen what will happen over the offseason. Striker Lucas Cavallini has been rumored to be on his way out, despite a tweet from Puebla Vice President Ángel Sosa denying this earlier in the week. Sosa also threw his support behind manager Enrique Meza, who has yet to make the Liguilla in his two full seasons in control of Los Camoteros. It’s worth noting that Puebla haven’t made the Liguilla since the 2015 Apertura.
Despite an embarrassing 6-1 loss last time out to Tigres UANL (7W 5D 4L), it hasn’t been all gloom and doom. Cavallini has seemed to find his scoring touch as of late, and Alejandro Chumacero and Christian Tabó have put in solid performances. Jonathan Espericueta, once relegated to an afterthought in Mexican soccer circles, has even regained a bit of the form that once saw him regarded so highly a few seasons ago.