Tijuana was able to survive a lackluster first half to beat Puebla and move into the Liguilla to face arch-rivals León. Puebla went down a player in the 53rd minute, and Xolos was able to go in and score four in a sixteen minute span.
Tijuana had the first good opportunity of the match in the fifth minute when Jesús Angulo played a cross in on the turf to Ariel Nahuelpán, who made a run from the far side of the goal over toward Angulo and shot just over the bar.
In the ninth minute, referee Jorge Rojas went to VAR after a seemingly innocuous free kick where a Puebla player hit the deck. On the review, it looked like Omar Mendoza had stepped on and tripped a Puebla player but after reviewing it Rojas determined there wasn’t enough contact to warrant awarding a penalty.
Both teams were cautious yet not totally conservative in the early stages of the match. Possession wasn’t given away cheaply by either side, although Puebla looked like the more dangerous side for most of the first half.
In the 25th minute, right back from Puebla hit a ball over the top past all of the Xolos players and on to Lucas Cavallini. Cavallini brought the ball down and poked it home past Gibran Lajud. Referee Rojas would review the goal with VAR and adjudged that Cavallini had played the ball with his arm and waved off the goal.
Tijuana would play much better in the start of the second half, and the tide would turn in the 52nd minute when Vladimir Loroña came in hard from behind on Ariel Nahuelpán. Rojas would show Loroña a yellow card. But after reviewing it on VAR, Rojas would scratch the yellow and show Loroña a red. Loroña seemed resigned to his fate, not even protesting the call.
Minutes later, Jesús Angulo would hit an out-swinging corner kick, and center back Diego Braghieri hit a volley that any striker would be proud of. Vikonis would get a hand on the shot but it went in.
In the 58th minute, Tijuana would double the lead when Gustavo Bou would play a good ball in to Nahuelpán. Nahuelpán hit a thundering shot that Vikonis shot but Miller Bolaños would follow up on the rebound and shot it into the roof of the net.
In the 65th Tijuana almost had another when Bou made a fantastic run down the left, beating several Puebla defenders and hitting a shot that Vikonis could only push away. The ball went to Jesús Angulo, however his shot wound up going wide. Three minutes later, Nahuelpán would hit a rocket from outside of the box that Vikonis had no shot to stop.
In the 73rd Nahuelpán played Gustavo Bou into the box, and Bou made a move and chipped Vikonis for Xolos’ fourth goal of the evening.
Tijuanense youth player Luís Gamíz got his first Liga MX action when he came on in the 84th minute and got a rousing ovation from the fans. At the final whistle, several Puebla players met Jorge Rojas at midfield to express their displeasure but it was to no avail: Tijuana was in the Liguilla, Puebla was going home.
Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Luis Fuentes, Julián Velázquez, Diego Braghieri (Juan Carlos Valenzuela, 73’), Omar Mendoza; Jesús Angulo, Diego Rodríguez (Luís Gamíz, 84’), Ignacio Rivero; Miller Bolaños; Gustavo Bou (Eryc Castillo, 80’), Ariel Nahuelpán
Puebla: Nicolás Vikonis; Brayan Angulo, Daniel Arreola, Néstor Vidrio, Vladimir Loroña; Alejandro Chumacero (Christian Tabó, 60’), Pablo González, Jesús Zavala, Omar Fernández (José Guerrero, 73’); Lucas Cavallini, Matías Alustíza (Pablo Gómez, 81’)
Estos son los Enfranjados que saltan a la cancha en representación de MILES que alentamos desde la tribuna, casa y Fiesta Enfranjada.— Club Puebla (@ClubPueblaMX) May 5, 2019
¡Estamos listos! ESTA FRANJA ES PARA VALIENTES. #UnoMás #LaFranjaQueNosUne pic.twitter.com/LDDIVS5xwv
Scoring: Club Tijuana - Diego Braghieri (57’), Miller Bolaños (59’), Ariel Nahuelpán (68’), Gustavo Bou (72’); Puebla - None
Disciplinary: Club Tijuana - Omar Mendoza (Yellow - 31’); Puebla - Brayan Angulo (Yellow - 20’), Vladimir Loroña (Red, 52’), Lucas Cavallini (Yellow, 59’)