Game: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente vs. Querétaro Fútbol Club
Date: Friday, February 9th
Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Caliente (Tijuana, B.C.)
Referees: REF: Jorge Antonio Pérez Durán, AR1: Marcos Quintero Huitron, AR2: José Alfredo López Cruz, 4TH: Jonathan Hernandez Juarez
All-time record: Xolos have won seven against Querétaro, lost five, and drawn just once in Liga MX play. Querétaro is also one of a handful of teams in Liga MX who faced Tijuana in the Ascenso MX. Querétaro won once, the clubs drew once, and Los Gallos Blancos also won the playoff series the clubs played in the 2008 Apertura by a 4-1 aggregate. They’d go on to win promotion that year, while Xolos had to wait two more years.
Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good though, and it appears that Club Tijuana (2W 3D 0L) has been a bit of both this year. Xolos are the only team to yet concede a goal during Liga MX play this year, although they’ve dodged a couple of bullets along the way. Last week there was controversy as Santos Laguna looked to have a goal but referee Jorge Rojas never ruled that the ball had crossed the line. They return home to Baja California to host Club Querétaro (1W 1D 3L) on Friday.
Querétaro are heading to the frontera having dropped their last two matches against Monarcas Morelia (3W 1D 1L) and Veracruz (1W 2D 2L). Their only win this year has been against Lobos BUAP (0W 1D 4L), and the club continues to struggle offensively. The two goals scored against BUAP are the only two they’ve scored in Liga MX all year long. The good news for Gallos Blancos is they’ll get Miguel Samudio back from his one game suspension for picking up a red card against Monarcas.
Samudio isn’t the answer though. Querétaro’s defense and goalkeeper Tiago Volpi have been solid, however the club has gotten no production from Edson Puch and only one goal from Camilo Sanvezzo. Against Veracruz they looked out of ideas in the final third almost from the start, and if they can’t remedy that quickly it could be a lot more of the same against Tijuana.
Tijuana on the other hand will need to build on the momentum from their last home match. In the 2-0 win against Puebla at Estadio Caliente, the offense was clicking on all cylinders. In addition to the goals by Gustavo “Pantera” Bou and Juan Lucero, Bou smashed one off of the crossbar and Xolos looked legitimately dangerous on offense. Querétaro’s saving grace has been their defense, however if the Xolos offense can turn it on again it could be another happy night for fans of the border dogs.