Game: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente vs. Cruz Azul Fútbol Club, A.C.
Date: Sunday, August 12th
Time: 9:06 p.m. Eastern, 8:06 p.m. Central, 7:06 p.m. Pacific, 1:06 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Caliente (Tijuana, B.C.)
Referees: REF: Luis Enrique Santander Aguirre, AR1: Alejandro Ayala Valderrama, AR2: Israel Valenciano Torres, 4TH: Fernando Hernandez Gomez
Radio: 98.9 FM (Tijuana/San Diego)
All-time record: In Liga MX play, Cruz Azul dominates the all-time series, having won six matches to Tijuana’s two wins. The clubs have drawn six times. The clubs faced off once outside of Liga MX, in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal. Cruz Azul won the aggregate by a score of 2-1.
After coming back from down a goal and a man to draw their arch-rivals, Club Tijuana (1W 1D 1L) will complete a rare home stand by hosting red-hot Cruz Azul (3W 0D 0L). Xolos will be without the services of Luis Chávez, who picked up a red card in the 39th minute. Xolos are fairly deep at central midfielder though, and Diego “Pulpo” González or Alejandro Guido will most likely get the nod.
Xolos will most likely look to grind out a draw against Cruz Azul, with Chávez’ replacement and defensive midfielder Diego Rodríguez dropping back often to help out center backs Julián Velázquez and Juan Carlos “Topo” Valenzuela against Cruz Azul’s potent offense. If Xolos pull out the win, it will most likely come off of the counterattack. Tijuana has looked particularly dangerous when able to break upfield, however forwards Juan Martín Lucero, Erick “Cubo” Torres, and Eryc Castillo need to do better with the few chances they’ll be afforded.
Cruz Azul comes to the frontera norte having knocked off Tigres (2W 0D 1L) last week much to the surprise of most people who follow the league. Going into Week 4, Cruz Azul still has yet to concede a goal. This may prove problematic for Xolos, as their offense is still trying to build chemistry.
Cruz Azul also seems to be lacking some chemistry offensively, only having scored five goals in their three games. The attacking talent is there, with Martín Cauteruccio, Edgar Mendez, and Elías Hernández leading the charge. Estadio Caliente is rough on teams though, who have to take a lengthy plane ride to face one of the league’s best defensive clubs on the artificial turf. If Cruz Azul is going to leave with their perfect record still intact, they can’t afford to take Xolos lightly.