Tijuana’s playoff hopes are in jeopardy after squandering a 2-0 lead against 17th place Atlas at home. While Tijuana was able to come out and dominate much of the first half of the game, spectacular play by Chilean sub Ángelo Henríquez drew the visitors level late in the match.
In the fourth minute, Gustavo “Pantera” Bou came close to putting Tijuana on the board, however his shot went just wide of José Hernández’ net. Xolos would have another chance from Lucero in the ninth minute, but Hernández was up to the task.
Hernández had no such luck on the following chance. Miller Bolaños did well to steal the ball from Stiven Barreiro and get it over to Lucero. Lucero drew the goalkeeper out a bit and hit it square to back to Bolaños, who was able to easily put Tijuana on the board with a tap-in.
¡Milleeer, goooool! Así fue el primero de nuestros Xoloitzcuintles #FuerzaTijuas pic.twitter.com/jZBDnNhCbi— Xolos (@Xolos) April 7, 2018
Here it is. Check out Miller Bolaños' goal from pitch level. #GoXolos #WeAreSoccer #LigaMXeng pic.twitter.com/9iOMKW9tKj— @Xolos_En (@xolos_en) April 7, 2018
Just a minute after that, another defensive mistake saw Lucero in with Arreola to beat. He did, and Arreola fouled him in the box. Referee Fernando Hernández blew his whistle and pointed at the spot.
#LigaMX: ¡PENAAAAL! @Xolos 1-0 vs @AtlasFC— Univision Deportes (@UnivisionSports) April 7, 2018
En vivo: https://t.co/AiLsLg155R pic.twitter.com/g0R5zh8VE7
Lucero calmly struck the ball and Tijuana was up 2-0 before the first fifteen minutes had gone by.
Here is @jmlucerooficial's PK again. @xolos_en 2-0 @atlasfc #GoXolos #WeAreSoccer pic.twitter.com/59zt44cjkm— @Xolos_En (@xolos_en) April 7, 2018
Ready. Aim. Fire. @jmlucerooficial converts his PK to extend the lead. @xolos_en 2-0 @atlasfc #GoXolos #WeAreSoccer pic.twitter.com/KfFa4MUwBR— @Xolos_En (@xolos_en) April 7, 2018
Atlas was able to stop the bleeding after the first two goals as the Zorros were able to get men back to help the outmatched defense. Atlas had a decent chance in the 33rd minute when Bryan Garnica hit a cross into the box from the left wing, but three Atlas players all collided with one another while going up for the ball. The play was whistled dead due to a foul by an Atlas player regardless.
In the 35th minute, disaster almost struck again for Atlas as Hernández and Daniel Arreola got their signals crossed on a ball just outside of the box and collided. Lucero was there to get the ball and take a shot, however young Ismael Govea had the presence of mind to get back on goal to clear out Lucero’s attempt.
In the 40th minute, Milton Caraglio was able to get the ball in the Xolos box and draw several defenders to his position. He flicked the ball out left to Garnica, whose shot was stopped by Gibran Lajud.
The second half was much more of the same. Atlas still gave up chances to Tijuana, but they were able to get some chances of their own. In the 71st minute Lajud made a blind save on a Clifford Aboagye free kick, however just a minute later Atlas would draw one back. Ángelo Henríquez got past Pablo Aguilar to get on the end of a fantastic pass from Cristián Calderón and slipped it under Lajud to draw one back for the visitors.
¡Así llegó el primer gol de Atlas, gran pase de Calderón, definición de @Anriquez11 ! ⚫️ pic.twitter.com/HmIGZL6zbl— Atlas FC (@atlasfc) April 7, 2018
Minutes later there was some controversy when Atlas tied the game. Henríquez hit a rocket of a shot off of the crossbar. Milton Caraglio came out of nowhere to head the rebound in. The rebound hit off of the back stop and out which was confusing. The referee didn’t initially make the call, and then when he did the Xolos players were insisting it was offside. The goal stood however and Atlas had drawn level.
¡Claro que entró!— Atlas FC (@atlasfc) April 7, 2018
¡Así llegó el segundo gol de los Zorros, cortesía de Milton Caraglio! ⚫️ pic.twitter.com/fufRgr53so
Try as they might, Tijuana was unable to get another good chance on goal and the match ended a 2-2 draw.
In a rare home stand, Tijuana will host Chivas next Friday. Atlas will return to Guadalajara to host Querétaro FC on Friday as well.
Club Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Damián Pérez, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Pablo Aguilar, Omar Mendoza; Damián Musto, Ignacio Rivero (José Alberto García, 83’); Gustavo Bou, Miller Bolaños (Rubio Rubin, 73’), Luis Mendoza (Ignacio Malcorra, 60’); Juan Lucero
Atlas FC: José Hernandez; Cristián Calderón, Daniel Arreola, Stiven Barreiro, Ismael Govea; Clifford Aboagye (Ian Torres, 74’), Rafa Márquez (Ravel Morrison, 65’), Edyarith Ortega; Ulises Cardona (Ángelo Henríquez, 46’), Bryan Garnica, Milton Caraglio
Scoring: Club Tijuana - Miller Bolaños (10’), Juan Lucero (13’ - penalty); Atlas FC - Ángelo Henríquez (73’), Milton Caraglio (77’)
Disciplinary: Club Tijuana - Damián Pérez (Yellow - 45’); Atlas FC - Stiven Barreiro (Yellow - 34’), Daniel Arreola (Yellow - 64’)