While the talk before the match was mostly around Lobos BUAP’s offensive prowess, it would be Tijuana putting on a scoring display at Estadio Caliente as Xolos defeated Lobos 3-1.
The game started out with Tijuana looking to move the ball across large portions of the field to get Lobos to chase the play. It worked well, as they were able to get Mateus Gonçalves a couple of early runs in deep to the left of Jorge Villalpando’s goal, but nothing came of it. In the 17th minute, Ignacio Rivero hit a laser from about 20 yards out that Villalpando had to make a diving save on. A minute later, it would be Gibran Lajud who would make be making a save after a Lobos run into the box.
In the 30th minute, Miller Bolaños did a great give-and-go with Rivero, but the resulting shot was over the crossbar. Six minutes later, Luis “Quick” Mendoza would take a shot from distance. The shot took a hop that it looked like Villalpando misjudged. The goalkeeper got a hand on it, but the ball continued on into the back of the net to give Tijuana the early lead.
Minutes later, Irven Ávila would put a shot on net that Lajud made a stop on. It was only the second stop of the half for Lajud, a testament to the Tijuana defense stifiling the Lobos potent offense.
In the second half, it would be Xolos offense that was the story. In the 60th minute, Francisco “Maza” Rodríguez committed a hard foul on Quick Mendoza just outside of the Lobos box. On the ensuing free kick, Luis Advincula would hit the ball with his arm and the referee didn’t hesitate to call the penalty. Miller Bolaños calmly put the shot past Villalpando to widen the Xolos lead.
Tijuana wasn’t finished though. A great through ball to José “Beto” García. Beto turned, saw Villalpando off of his line, and hit a high arcing chip over the goalkeeper and in for Tijuana’s third goal of the evening.
Lobos BUAP would pull one back in the 85th minute when Julián Quiñones was left unattended in the box on a throw-in. The ball took a deflection off of a head and fell in front of Quiñones, who hit a half-volley past Lajud.
That would be it though as Tijuana was able to secure all three points and climb up the table, ending the evening in third place.
Xolos will host the New York Red Bulls in CONCACAF Champions League play on Tuesday before heading to Morelia to face Monarcas next Friday. Lobos meanwhile will head to C.U. to face Pumas in a rare Wednesday afternoon Copa MX match before returning to Puebla to host Chivas next Saturday.
Club Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Damián Pérez, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Pablo Aguilar, Omar Mendoza; Damián Musto; Mateus Gonçalves (Rubio Rubin, 58’), Ignacio Rivero, Luis Mendoza (Ignacio Malcorra, 77’); Miller Bolaños (Alejandro Guido, 73’), José García (Alejandro Guido, 75’)
Lobos BUAP: Jorge Villalpando; Carlos Morales, Facundo Erpen, César Cercado (Jerónimo Amione, 69’), Francisco Rodríguez, Luis Advincula; Jordan Sierra, Pedro Aquino (Alfonso Sanchez, 77’), Gabriel Cortez (Julián Quiñones, 64’) ; Irven Avila, Diego Jiménez
Scoring: Club Tijuana - Luis Mendoza (36’), Miller Bolaños (62’ - penalty), José García (73’); Lobos BUAP - None
Disciplinary: Club Tijuana - Damián Musto (Yellow - 26’), Juan Carlos Valenzuela (Yellow - 66’); Lobos BUAP - Pedro Aquino (Yellow - 44’), Francisco Rodríguez (Yellow - 60’), Luis Advincula (Yellow - 61’)