Despite being outplayed for a good portion of the match, Querétaro was able to grind out a win against Tijuana thanks to a late goal from Aké Loba.
Both teams started out a little slow, with neither being able to establish much in the attack. In the eighth minute, Tijuana had an opportunity when Fabián Castillo played a good give-and-go with Gustavo Bou, culminating with Castillo hitting a hip-high volley that was more hopeful than accurate. In the 20th, Daniel “Keko” Villalva would have a shot on goal from distance that Tijuana goalkeeper Gibran Lajud would parry out for a corner kick.
As the game progressed, Tijuana would start to take the momentum. In the 28th minute, Gustavo Bou would hit a shot from distance but Gallos goalkeeper Gil Alcala saw it the entire way and was able to hold on to it. Querétaro would not do themselves many favors in the attack. In one sequence, Matías Britos was coming down the left side with a step on the defender. While Britos isn’t the fastest player on the pitch, he had options to shoot or to cross to an onrushing central attacker. Instead he hit a ball centrally and back behind the run of play, allowing Tijuana’s defense to catch up to the rush and mitigate the threat to goal. The resulting shots from Querétaro never made it to Lajud, being blocked by defenders.
That momentum would shift to the hosts after the halftime break.In the 46th, Jordan Sierra had a shot from distance that Lajud would push aside. Three minutes later Keko Villalva would hit a shot that Lajud would easily stop and hang on to. In the 51, Sierra would beat his defender and hit a cross through the box that found no redirection on goal (or a shot that went just wide of goal, depending on who you ask).
In the 74th minute, Querétaro would break through when George Corral would hit a perfectly weighted cross from the right side of the box to Ivorian striker Aké Loba. Loba got his head on the ball past Gibran Lajud and easily headed the ball home to give the hosts the lead.
Loba almost had a a second in the 85th minute when Miguel Samudio hit a cross that just missed Loba’s diving header. Loba would also get a touch on a ball in the box in stoppage time but Gibran Lajud would stop it easily.
Querétaro will face Cruz Azul in Liga MX play next Saturday, while Tijuana has a home-and-home with Club América. On Tuesday the teams will meet in the Copa MX semifinal at Estadio Azteca and then head to Tijuana to play each other in Liga MX play on Saturday.
Querétaro: Gil Alcala; Alexis Pérez, Diego Novaretti, Luis Romo, George Corral; Jordan Sierra, Marcel Ruíz (Erbin Trejo, 65’); Miguel Samudio, Daniel Villalva (Jorge Rojas, 71’), Daniel Lajud (Aké Loba, 46’); Matías Britos
| ¡Ya tenemos la alineación! Y es presentada por: @calientesports.— Gallos de Querétaro (@Club_Queretaro) March 30, 2019
Recibe $400 gratis y métele a los Gallos en https://t.co/nXgkIa6aGc :https://t.co/Q1M6zcD5bA . #ApuestaEnCaliente pic.twitter.com/18j0i11XDg
Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Luis Fuentes, Diego Braghieri, Julián Velázquez, Omar Mendoza; Fabián Castillo (Eryc Castillo, 71’), Diego Rodríguez (Daniel López, 80’), Ignacio Rivero, Miller Bolaños; Gustavo Bou (Luis Chávez, 58’), Ariel Nahuelpán
Scoring: Querétaro - Aké Loba (75’); Tijuana - None
Disciplinary: Querétaro - Miguel Samudio (Yellow - 77’); Tijuana - Omar Mendoza (Yellow - 82‘)