It’s been a rough few weeks for Club Tijuana. The club has been mired in a winless streak, even losing to lowly Veracruz last week while they slip further and further from the promise of the Liguilla. Necaxa came to Tijuana, having played good soccer over the past couple of weeks but bearing the brunt of some tough results lately. Xolos would finally break out of their slump, handing Necaxa a tough 1-0 loss at Estadio Caliente.
While the past couple of Xolos matches started out very slowly, this one started out with both teams coming out playing end-to-end soccer. Tijuana was able to seize the momentum and create some chances early, but Necaxa was able to contain the attack and counter.
With Omar Mendoza out with an injury, Ignacio Rivero was moved to right back, Miller Bolaños switched over from the left to the right wing, and Fabián Castillo started at the left wing for the Xoloitzcuintles.
Tijuana had a great opportunity in the 21st minute on a flurry of chances from Miller Bolaños and Erick “Cubo” Torres, but Necaxa goalkeeper Hugo González was able to keep himself between the ball and goal to deny Xolos a goal.
Xolos had another flurry of chances in the 41st minute, but again a big chance by Cubo Torres went into the body of Hugo González. Torres had several chances to score, but to the dismay of the fans at Estadio Caliente (and some of his teammates), Cubo was unable to convert any of them.
Xolos would start the second half like they did the first. This time it was Juan Martín Lucero with the chances that would not come. In a scene that epitomized Lucero’s night, he was played in on goal in the 50th minute but couldn’t get a shot off on goal, instead dribbling into the box and watching the ball squirt out over the end line.
At the other end of the pitch, Xolos goalkeeper Gibran Lajud made several stops on Necaxa all evening. In the 57th minute, Lajud would make a fantastic save on a Facundo Castro shot from distance. He’d deny Castro again in the 75th when he smothered a header by the Uruguayan.
Xolos would finally break through in the 86th minute when Miller Bolaños played a brilliant give-and-go with Lucero, received the ball in the box and shot one past González.
That would be all that Tijuana needed to get the full three points and end a six-game winless streak. Xolos will head to Toluca to face the Diablos Rojos in Copa MX play on Wednesday. Their next Liga MX match will be after the international break on Sunday the 16th when they head to Guadalajara to play winless and scoreless Atlas on Sunday. Necaxa will not play a Copa MX game this week, instead they’ll host Cruz Azul next Saturday.
Club Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Luis Fuentes, Gustavo Canto, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Ignacio Rivero; Miller Bolaños (Hiram Muñoz, 90+1’), Diego Rodríguez, Diego González, Fabián Castillo (Eryc Castillo, 70’); Erick Torres (Jesús Angulo, 53’), Juan Martín Lucero
Necaxa: Hugo González; Manuel Mayorga, Brayan Beckeles (Carlos Peña, 90’), Leobardo López, Ventura Alvarádo; Dieter Villalpando, Fernando González, Matías Fernández, Marcelo Allende (Facundo Castro, 46’); Víctor Dávila, Brian Fernández (Luis Gallegos, 69’)
Scoring: Club Tijuana - Miller Bolaños (86’); Necaxa - None
Disciplinary: Club Tijuana - None; Necaxa - Manuel Mayorga (Yellow - 90+5’)