The game started out on a pretty physical note, with players from both sides hitting the turf thanks to the opposition. Costa Rican referee Henry Bejarano was willing to let the teams play however. In the 14th minute, Ignacio “Nacho” Malcorra made a good run down the right flank and hit a cross into the box that just missed the head of an onrushing Juan Lucero.
Tijuana was able to control the tempo and flow of play for the most part during the first half, although Motagua was able to get some decent opportunities.
In the 33rd minute, Miller Bolaños was able to corral a loose ball in the box and feed it to the right toward Lucero, who hit a great cross to the left. Unfortunately for Xolos, Mateus Gonçalves was too far behind the pass to get a touch on it.
In the 40th minute, a defensive miscue by Omar Mendoza allowed Walter Martínez to have an uncontested look at goal, but his shot at the far corner of Gibran Lajud’s net went just wide. In the 44th minute, Juan Lucero was able to tee one up from about 20 yards out but his shot just missed Jonathan Rougier’s net.
When the match resumed, it was unfortunately much more of the same as both teams were unable to get much going in the pouring rain. The storm caused a power outage that suspended play in the 55th minute for approximately 45 minutes.
Once play resumed, neither team really was able to get much momentum going initially. In the 65th minute, Pablo Aguilar was able to get his head on a corner kick, but Rougier was able to make a leaping save. New signing Rubio Rubin would have a decent look at goal a minute later, but his shot went wide of the net as well.
Tijuana was able to apply some decent sustained pressure, and it finally paid off in the 71st minute. Ignacio “Nacho” Rivero hit an absolute screamer from about 20 yards out that beat Rougier to give Xolos an important away goal and a 1-0 lead.
In the 77th minute Juan Lucero would have a good chance that Rougier saved. Omar Mendoza got a head to the rebound, but it went just wide of the net.
Rivero would have another fantastic look in the 80th minute but Rougier made a huge save on the shot to keep the Xolos lead at one.
In the second minute of stoppage time, Gibran Lajud would come up huge and smother an opportunity to preserve the lead for Xolos as time expired.
Motagua will head to Tijuana to face off against Xolos on Tuesday, February 27. Xolos next match is a Liga MX fixture against Club América at the Estadio Azteca on Saturday.
FC Motagua: Jonathan Rougier: Wilmer Crisanto (Kevin López, 75’), Marcelo Santos, Félix Crisanto, Marcelo Pereira, Juan Pablo Montes; Héctor Castellanos, Walter Martinez (Erick Andino, 77’), Carlos Discua (Marco Vega, 69’), Reinieri Mayorquín; Rubilio Castillo
Club Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Damián Pérez, Pablo Aguilar, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Omar Mendoza; Damián Musto; Mateus Gonçalves (Rubio Rubin, 53’), Ignacio Rivero, Miller Bolaños (Luis Chávez, 82’), Ignacio Malcorra (Julio Angulo, 26’); Juan Lucero
Scoring: FC Motagua - None; Club Tijuana - Ignacio Rivero (79’)
Disciplinary: FC Motagua - Marco Vega (Yellow - 89’); Club Tijuana - Rubio Rubin (Yellow - 90+3’)