Game: Club Deportivo Tiburones Rojos de la Veracruz vs. Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente
Date: Saturday, August 25th
Time: 9:30 p.m. Eastern, 8:30 p.m. Central, 6:30 p.m. Pacific, 1:30 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Luis “Pirata” Fuente (Boca Del Rio, Ver.)
Referees: REF: Marco Antonio Ortiz Nava, AR1: Alberto Morin Méndez, AR2: Jose Ibrahim Martinez Chavarria, 4TH: Roberto Rios Jácome
All-time record: The teams have faced off ten times in Liga MX play, with Tiburones Rojos winning four, Xolos winning three, and the sides drawing three. Veracruz won the last meeting 1-0 at Estadio Pirata Fuente.
Tijuana (1W 3D 2L) hasn’t been at their best lately, but a trip to Veracruz to face the Tiburones Rojos (1W 1D 4L) could be just what’s needed to get Xolos back playing confident soccer. Xolos didn’t play particularly poorly on Wednesday against Santos Laguna (4W 1D 1L), holding the defending champions to a draw. They did get that draw however by allowing Santos to level twice, one of which was in stoppage time.
Tijuana was able to get their offense going, scoring two goals for the first time in Liga MX play since the season opener against Chivas. New additions Eryc Castillo and Fabián Castillo were critical pieces of Xolos attack, with Eryc scoring a goal and Fabián changing the pace of the game with his incisive runs. They also held Santos’ potent offense to two goals.
While Tijuana has struggled, Verzcruz has been an unmitigated disaster. On the field the club has struggled, their lone points a draw against Monarcas Morelia (3W 2D 1L) and a win against Puebla (2W 1D 3L). Since the win against Puebla they’ve lost two straight in Liga MX by a combined score of 6-0; three straight by 9-0 if you count the Copa MX match against Club América. Tiburones have scored just four goals on the season while allowing thirteen.
As bad as they have been on the pitch, they’ve been even worse off of it. The resignation of former manager Guillermo Vázquez has resulted in the Mexican government investigating Liga MX for tax evasion due to Vázquez’ alleging (and Veracruz vice president Mario Trejo confirming) the existence of a double-contract between Vázquez and the club.
Frankly speaking, this is a game that Tijuana needs to win. They can not afford to let an opportunity against a team in such disarray pass them up. They have games coming up against Necaxa (2W 1D 3L), Atlas (0W 2D 5L), and Pachuca (1W 2D 3L) and have a real opportunity to capture all 12 points from this stretch. If they’re going to return to the Liguilla, these are games they simply must get results in.