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Match recap: Club León 0, Club Tijuana 1

A goal from Gustavo Bou and a masterclass in goalkeeping from Gibran Lajud sees Xolos’ first win since September 22nd.

Tijuana v Monterrey - Playoffs Torneo Clausura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Gonzalo Gonzalez/Jam Media/Getty Images

In a rivalry match, nothing is a given. Teams that haven’t won all season can put it all together to win if it’s at the expense of that team.

Tijuana did just that, beating León 1-0 in a match with a lot of firsts: first goal since November, first goal from Gustavo Bou since April, Óscar Pareja’s first win with Xolos, and the club’s first win since last September.

Fans in the United States joined the match in progress as the Chivas-Toluca match went 11 minutes into stoppage time thanks to a controversial goal that was overturned by VAR. Luckily it doesn’t appear that much was missed in the first fifteen, as only one shot by León registered on the score sheet.

In the 18th minute, León was awarded a free kick just outside of the Xolos box, however the kick went just over the bar.

In the 27th minute, Gustavo Bou would get sprung on a ball down the field. He was able to beat goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota to the ball and tapped it up and over Cota and tapped it once more into the goal for Tijuana’s first of the season and Bou’s first since the final week of the 2018 Clausura.

The game was a feisty, hard-nosed affair with lots of physical play and extra-curricular activities. At one point, Diego “Torito” Rodríguez and William Tesillo were exchanging pleasantries face-to-face and had to be separated by teammates.

Tijuana started the second half on a break that León were lucky to get back and defend. With Bou in the lineup Xolos offense looked fearsome, as Miller Bolaños was able to make runs and cut balls through gaps and Fabián Castillo and Diego “Pulpo” González were able to get up into the play and sustain pressure.

In the 60th minute, León would get a great opportunity as Vinicio Angulo would get his head on to a cross from Ángel Mena and put it on frame, but Gibran Lajud was there to punch the ball out of harm’s way. Lajud would come up big again in the 77th minute when he made another reaction save to punch a ball out of what looked to be a certain goal. He’s do the same thing in the 84th, knocking the rebound out to a León player who’d hit a shot off of the crossbar. The rebound fell to another player who hit a second shot off of the crossbar.

In the 88th León would finally beat Lajud, but it was ruled that Walter González had pushed Diego Braghieri as he went to head the ball clear and the goal was annulled.

León will head to Querétaro to face off against Gallos Blancos on Sunday, while Xolos will head to Pachuca to face Tuzos on Wednesday in Copa MX play before heading to Mexico City to face Cruz Azul in Liga MX play on Saturday.

Club León: Rodolfo Cota; Ángel Mena (jorge Díaz, 86’), William Tesillo, Andrés Mosquera, Fernando Navarro; Rubens Sambueza, Iván Rodríguez, Miguel Herrera (Walter González, 71’), Jean Menenses; Luis Montes, Vinicio Angulo (José Macías, 76’)

Club Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Luis Funetes, Diego Braghieri, Julián Velázquez, Omar Mendoza; Diego Rodríguez, Diego González; Fabián Castillo (Juan Carlos Valenzuela, 62’), Miller Bolaños (Joe Corona, 76’), Ignacio Rivero; Gustavo Bou (Eryc Castillo, 70’)

Scoring: Club León - None; Club Tijuana - Gustavo Bou (27’)

Disciplinary: Club León - None; Club Tijuana - Diego González (Yellow - 39’)