After playing some of their best soccer in a couple seasons, Tijuana played one of their worst games in months. Xolos were brought back to earth in stunning fashion by Pachuca, losing 4-0 at Estadio Hidalgo. Edwin Cardona had a brace and Alfonso Blanco kept a clean sheet for the victors.
Pachuca started the game out on the front foot, pressing Tijuana higher up the field and not allowing them time to get situated when they had possession. To Tijuana’s credit, the Pachuca pressure resulted in turnovers but precious few chances at goal early on. Xolos would conced on in the eighth minute when a failed clearance attempt by Luis Martínez went straight to the foot of Franco Jara, but his shot was blocked by a sliding tackle. On the resulting corner, Stiven Barreiro would head the ball past goalkeeper Gibran Lajud to put Pachuca up 1-0. Barreiro had a nightmare outing against Tigres last week, committing two own goals.
In the 13th minute, Luis Martínez would commit a foul along the side of the 18 yard box. The resulting Edwin Cardona free kick somehow made its way through traffic to an unmarked Leonardo Ulloa, who tucked the ball in the far corner of the net for an early two goal lead for the home side.
Tijuana wasn’t able to retain possession for long stretches of time, as passes would often be intercepted before Xolos made it into the final third. When they did, they tried taking advantage of it but simply couldn’t get it to all work out. In the 32nd minute, Xolos were finally able to get down the field and Gustavo Bou ripped a shot from about 25 yards out, but goalkeeper Alfonso Blanco was able to see it all of the way and push the dipping ball out to safety.
After the half it would be more of the same. In the 48th minute, Pachuca would get a three-on-two break. Center back Julián Velázquez would leave his geet to attempt a tackle and miss, allowing X to pass the ball centrally to Cardona. Diego Braghieri would slip, Cardona would take a touch and fire past a helpless Lajud to make it 3-0.
Four minutes later, Jara would get the ball in the box and touch-pass it to Cardona, who fired back against the grain and past Lajud.
In the 54th, Xolos would have a fantastic chance to draw one back when Jesús Angulo would cross it past a prone Blanco to Nahuelpán. Nahuelpán shot it on a half-volley, however the ball was blocked off of the line by Emmanuel García, and the resulting header by Miller Bolaños went well over the bar.
In the 77th, Nahuelpán would hit a shot that would finally beat Blanco - but would glance off of the post and out of danger. It would be that kind of night for Tijuana. Passes weren’t making it through, touches were poor, making it easy for the hosts to dominate the run of play.
Pachuca heads to Mexico City to face Cruz Azul on Saturday, while Tijuana will head to Morelia to face Monarcas on Tuesday in Copa MX play before returning home to face Monterrey in the late game on Saturday.
Pachuca: Alfonso Blanco; Emmanuel García, Oscar Murillo, Stiven Barreiro, Raúl López; Edwin Cardona (Pablo López, 68’), Erick Aguirre, Jorge Hernández, Víctor Guzmán; Leonardo Ulloa (Ismael Sosa, 68’), Franco Jara
Este es el #XITuzo que jugará esta tarde en la cancha del Estadio Miguel Hidalgo 'El Huracán' de la Bella Airosa para enfrentar a @Xolos en el partido de la #J10CL2019 de la @LIGABancomerMX— Club Pachuca (@Tuzos) March 9, 2019
¡Venga Tuzos, vamos por la victoria!
Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Luis Fuentes, Julián Velázquez, Diego Braghieri, Luis Martínez (Diego González, 46’); Jesús Angulo, Diego Rodríguez, Ignacio Rivero, Miller Bolaños (Eryc Castillo, 76’); Ariel Nahuelpán, Gustavo Bou (Juan Carlos Valenzuela, 65’)
Scoring: Pachuca - Stiven Barreiro (9’), Leonardo Ulloa (14’), Edwin Cardona (48’, 52’); Tijuana - None
Disciplinary: Pachuca - Jorge Hernández (Yellow - 19’); Tijuana - Diego Rodríguez (Yellow - 59’), Ariel Nahuelpán (Yellow - 72’)