In one of the wilder matches in recent memory, Tijuana sees three players sent off and concedes a goal in the 96th minute, drawing Atlas 2-2 in the Mictlán.
Xolos started off quick, and Ariel Nahuelpán looked like a man possessed. Immediately off of the kickoff, Miller Bolaños raced down the right side and hit a cross into Nahuelpán. Nahuelpán drew some contact en route to the goal and went down, but not enough for a penalty to be awarded. In the eight minute, Bolaños sent in a great ball to Ángel Sepúlveda, but the resulting header went over the bar.
In the 13th minute Nahuelpán got a running start on a header from 33 but it went just wide of the goal. In the 16th, Nahuelpán got a ball just outside of the box. He boxed out the defender, took a touch, and hit a powerful shot that Camilo Vargas could only turn away. Mauro Lainez would have a shot in the 31st that whistled just wide of the net.
It was Atlas who scored first in the 41st when 17 hit a cross into the box from the left. Facundo Barceló made a running leap and got his head onto it as Gibran Lajud came out to punch it out, knocking it past the Xolos goalkeeper for the goal.
A minute into stoppage time however Xolos’ fortunes would change. During a scrum in the box, chaos reigned and several players from both teams wound up on the turf. The play went to VAR and it was judged that a foul was committed in the box by Atlas when Jorge Segura stepped on the back of Sepúlveda’s leg. Leonel Miranda stepped up and converted the penalty to draw the sides level again.
Shortly after the restart, Lajud would come up big when he stoned a close range shot in the 50th minute. Neither team could really keep sustained pressure however, and the game seemed to get mired down into fouls and ideas that fell short.
This changed though in the 69th minute when Camilo Sanvezzo hit a beautiful pass across to Nahuelpán. Nahuelpán hit a one-time shot that hit off of the post but wound up back on the foot of Sanvezzo, who calmly tapped in the rebound to put Xolos up.
Disaster struck for the home side though in the 72nd minute when Ariel Nahuelpán tried to corral a loose ball by kicking behind him, Unforutnately instead of kicking the ball he kicked Ismael Govea in the leg and was shown a straight red card.
This lead Tijuana to retreat into a defensive shell and force Atlas to try and go after the ball. Xolos were happy to milk the clock and rack up the fouls, however they’d pick up another red card in the 89th minute when Kevin Balanta went in hard on . Initially shown a yellow, the referee would VAR review it and over turn it, issuing a straight red.
Camilo Sanvezzo would also be shown a second yellow deep into stoppage for kicking a ball out into the stands in an attempt to waste time. On the restart, Manuel Balda hit a rocket from about 30 yards out that beat Gibran Lajud and tied the game, eliciting a shower of beer from seemingly every part of the stadium.
Due to the international break, both teams have next week off. Xolos’ next game is Friday, October 18 when they head to Torreón to face Santos Laguna. Atlas also play on Friday, October 18 in Puebla against La Franja.
Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Aldo Cruz, Julián Velázquez, Jordan Silva, Omar Mendoza (Ignacio Rivero, 65’); Ángel Sepúlveda (Camilo Sanvezzo, 62’), Kevin Balanta, Leonel Miranda, Mauro Lainez (Diego Braghieri, 76’); Miller Bolaños, Ariel Nahuelpán
Atlas: Camilo Vargas; Jesús Angulo (Christopher Trejo, 74’), Jorge Segura, Hugo Nervo, Ismael Govea;Lorenzo Reyes, Edgar Zaldívar (Manuel Balda, 71’); Mauricio Cuero, Osvaldo Martínez, Ian Torres (Andrés Andrade, 46’); Facundo Barceló
Scoring: Tijuana - Leonel Miranda (45+3’ - penalty), Camilo Sanvezzo (69’); Atlas - Facundo Barceló (41’), Manuel Balda (90+6’)
Disciplinary: Tijuana - Omar Mendoza (Yellow - 64’), Ariel Nahuelpán (Red - 72’), Mauro Lainez (Yellow - 76’), Camilo Sanvezzo (Yellow - 88’, 90+3’), Kevin Balanta (Red- 89’); Atlas - None