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Match recap: Tijuana 1, Monterrey 0

Óscar Pareja’s Xolos played a smart match against a very good Rayados team, handing them their first loss of the 2019 Clausura

Pachuca v Tijuana - Torneo Clausura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

Monterrey came to Tijuana the only undefeated team left in Liga MX. They would leave with their first thanks to a goal from Miller Bolaños and a smart performance from the hosts designed to frustrate Monterrey and keep them off their game.

In the eighth minute, Dorlan Pabón would hit a rocket from 20 yards out but goalkeeper Gibran Lajud made a strong stop on the shot. In the 11th minute, Fabián Castillo would get a shot inside of the 18 yard box but Rayados’ goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero was able to make the stop.

The majority of the first half saw the teams trying to get something going, however neither were able to really threaten. In the 37th minute Rayados would have a flurry of chances in the box but were unable to get anything to Lajud. In the 40th, Dorlan Pabón would rip a shot that whistled just wide of goal. But play was often stopped due to fouls, and neither team backed down from the other when challenged physically.

At the start of the second half, Ariel Nahuelpán would try a shot from distance not even 30 seconds in that Barovero would be forced to make a save on. In the 57th minute, Miguel Layún would hit a free kick that Lajud made a fantastic save on - and in a show of class, Layún would applaud Lajud’s save. Lajud would make a fantastic diving save on Avilés Hurtado in the 60th minute.

In the 66th minute, Tijuana would finally break through when Ignacio Rivero played in a great ball to Miller Bolaños. “Killer” Bolaños would slot it wide to Gustavo Bou and Pantera would play it back to Bolaños, who would tap the ball in to give the hosts the lead.

In the 68th, Monterrey would almost get one when Rogelio Funes Mori would play it in toward Hurtado, but his shot would be stopped by Lajud. In the 78th, Hurtado would play a great cross in to César Montes, but the resulting header would just miss the net.

Down a goal, Monterrey would ratchet up the pressure, pushing numbers forward and taking as little time setting up on restarts as possible. Tijuana would milk as much time off of the clock as they possibly could, frustrating Monterrey and running the clock out to give the visitors their first loss of the season.

When Liga MX play resumes after the international break, Tijuana will head to Querétaro to face Los Gallos Blancos on Saturday, March 30. On that same day, Rayados will host Cruz Azul.

Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Luis Fuentes, Diego Braghieri, Julián Velázquez, Omar Mendoza; Fabian Cástillo (Jesús Angulo, 78’), Diego Rodríguez, Ignacio Rivero, Miller Bolaños (Luis Chávez, 89’); Gustavo Bou, (Juan Carlos Valenzuela, 81’) Ariel Nahuelpán

Monterrey: Marcelo Barovero; Leonel Vangioni, Nicolás Sánchez, César Montes (Carlos Rodríguez, 78’), Miguel Layún; Rodolfo Pizarro (Jesús Gallardo, 72’), Avilés Hurtado, Celso Ortíz, Dorlan Pabón; Maximiliano Meza, Adam Bareiro (Rogelio Funes Mori, 61’)

Scoring: Tijuana - Miller Bolaños (66’); Monterrey - None

Disciplinary: Tijuana - Gibran Lajud (Yellow - 69’), Gustavo Bou (Yellow - 69’); Monterrey - Leonel Vangioni (Yellow - 45’)