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Match recap: Tijuana 3, Atlas 1

Tijuana wins a wild one out west against a floundering Atlas team.

Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente press release

Tijuana would get a top performance from Ariel Nahuelpán en route to a fantastic 3-1 win over Atlas,

Atlas’ winger Jesús Isijara was a late scratch with a reported thigh injury according to MORE-FM’s Tony Alvarez. Xolos right back Omar Mendoza was also a scratch, picking up a knock in Tijuana’s Copa MX match against Alebrijes de Oaxaca on Tuesday night.

In the 8th minute, Xolos had a good chance when Eryc Castillo played a fantastic cross to Ariel Nahuelpán, however Nahuelpán’s sliding attempt at the ball missed by inches. Castillo would get redemption minutes later when Diego Rodríguez played a fantastic long ball to La Culebra, who hit a rocket past the Atlas goalkeeper.

In the 13th minute, Xolos would strike again when Gustavo “Pantera” Bou would play a fantastic chip pass in to Nahuelpán, who would take a touch and strike the ball true.

Atlas would pin Xolos in their own end for a few minutes at the half hour mark, however the dominant possession would amount to no shots and no goals. In the 37th minute Atlas would finally take a chance when Juan Pablo Vigón would have a point blank shot on goal, but goalkeeper Gibran Lajud stood tall and absorbed the shot to retain the Xolos lead.

In the 47th minute, the was controversy as Ignacio Rivero would get in front of a cross into the box by Irving Zurita. Referee Jorge Pérez allowed play to continue, however at the stoppage he would consult VAR and award the penalty. Osvaldo Martínez would run up and hit a shot that Gibran Lajud would get a hand to and knock off the post - but right to the foot of Martínez who would knock the rebound in.

The goal gave Atlas confidence, and they took the game to Tijuana. In the 62nd minute, Atlas would have a couple of good chances - first from Martínez off of a quick restart on a free kick that Lajud had to slap away. Off of the resulting corner, Omar González put a header on frame that Lajud was able to hang on to.

In the 70th minute, Facundo Barcelo would be shown a straight red card for stomping on the foot of Diego Braghieri. This would somewhat blunt the Atlas attack, however Los Zorros would still try to press forward to get the equalizer.

In the 77th minute, it would be Xolos with a fantastic chance when Diego Rodríguez would play a great ball forward to Miller Bolaños, whose shot at pace was stopped brilliantly by José Hernández. In the 79th minute, Ariel Nahuelpán would take a throw in by the corner flag. The ball would bounce off of the ground, Nahuelpán spun and hit a shot that would defy physics and somehow beat Hernández.

Minutes later, Irving Zurita would be shown a straight red card for throwing an elbow into Ignacio Rivero’s jaw. Jorge Pérez would review it on VAR, rescind the red and instead show Zurita a yellow card.

Hernández would make several good saves to keep Xolos from adding any more insult or injury during the six minutes of stoppage, but Atlas would lose their fourth straight in Liga MX play while Tijuana are unbeaten in their last eight in all competitions.

Tijuana will head to Pachuca to face Tuzos on Saturday night, while Atlas return home to host Cruz Azul on Friday.

Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Luis Fuentes, Julián Velázquez, Diego Braghieri, Luis Martínez (Diego González, 75’); Eryc Castillo (Jesús Angulo, 66’), Ignacio Rivero, Diego Rodríguez, Miller Bolaños; Gustavo Bou, Ariel Nahuelpán (Antonio Nava, 86’)

Atlas: José Hernández; Irving Zurita, Anderson Santamaría, Omar González, Ismael Govea (Hernán Burbano, 86’); Juan Vigón, Esteban Carvajal (Alejandro Díaz, 46’), Osvaldo Martínez; Clifford Aboagye, Facundo Barcelo, Jairo Torres

Scoring: Tijuana - Eryc Castillo (11’), Ariel Nahuelpán (13’, 79’); Atlas - Osvaldo Martínez (50’)

Disciplinary: Tijuana - Diego Rodríguez (Yellow - 41’), Gibran Lajud (Yellow - 88’); Atlas - Jairo Torres (Yellow - 22’), Facundo Barcelo (Red - 70’), Irving Zurita (Yellow - 84’)