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Match recap: Club América 3, Tijuana 1

Standout performances from Guido Rodríguez and Giovani Dos Santos push América past Xolos on a rainy evening at the Estadio Azteca.

Club America v Houston Dynamo: Quarterfinal - 2019 Leagues Cup Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

Club América put to rest a lot of the questions about them going into this match, downing Tijuana 3-1. One of the big talking points of the evening was the absence of Matheus Uribe, who had reportedly been sold to FC Porto for somewhere in the neighborhood of €10 million. This came on the heels of América selling Agustín Marchesín to Porto earlier in the week.

In the third minute, Xolos had a golden opportunity when Ariel Nahuelpán got the ball close to the América box. Nahuelpén hit a backheel flick to Miller Bolaños, who played it out to the left for an onrushing Washington Camacho. Camacho hit a shot but it went into the side netting. In the fifth minute, Andrés Ibargüen and Nicolás Castillo played a great give and go but Castillo’s shot hit off the post and out of play.

Tijuana was content to remain compact defensively, allowing América to try and work their way through the structure and remaining patient while looking for an opportunity to counterattack. In the 23rd minute, Guido Rodríguez hit a shot from distance that goalkeeper Gibran Lajud stopped, bobbled, and then recovered. Three minutes later Renata Ibarra found himself with the ball at his feet in the box but he was well defended by Omar Mendoza and Lajud was able to rush out and make the save.

In the 34th, Nico Castillo was played in and he and Lajud collided while going for the ball. During the collision, Castillo’s cleat caught Lajud’s knee, opening a cut. Castillo would remain down for a couple of minutes while the physio staff checked out his knee however both men were able to continue and a VAR review resulted in a free kick being awarded to Xolos. Minutes later however Castillo would be substituted out for Giovani Dos Santos.

Moments after the start of the second half, Paul Aguilar would hit a shot with pace that went just wide of Gibran Lajud’s net. In the 48th minute, Bruno Valdez and Emanuel Aguilera would collide while going for a ball. Both men would be able to continue. Minutes later Renato Ibarra would hit a shot from distance that Lajud would make a solid save on. In the 56th minute Roger Martínez would try a shot from distance but Lajud was able to see it sail wide of the mark.

América ratcheted up the pressure on Tijuana after the break, not allowing Xolos much time on the ball and working well to shut down the passing lanes. Slowly though Tijuana was able to build some momentum as the match wore on. In the 75th minute though it would be ex-Xolo Guido Rodríguez to put the home side up when a deflected shot found it’s way to him at the top of the box and he rifled the ball past Gibran Lajud and into the back of the net. The play would be briefly reviewed by VAR bout would stand up.

The lead would be short lived though as Camilo Sanvezzo would get to a ball won by Ariel Nahuelpán, take a dribble, and hit a shot that kissed the post on its way past Óscar Jiménez.

In the 84th off of a corner kick, América almost had a second but while the ball made it past Lajud and onto the foot of an América player but wouldn’t make it in. In the 87th though they would get the second goal when Off of a throw in Giovani Dos Santos would make a wonderful run down the left side, drawing all three Xolos defenders that were back. Dos Santos saw this and hit the ball wide to Renato Ibarra, who was able to beat a diving Lajud.

Deep into stoppage time, Giovani Dos Santos would get his first goal in a Club América uniform when he was played in by Roger Martínez and chip the ball over a sliding Gibran Lajud to get the insurance goal for the hosts.

América will face Toluca on the road in Edomex next Sunday while Tijuana will host UNAM Pumas next Friday night.

Club América: Óscar Jiménez; Paul Aguilar, Jorge Sánchez, Emanuel Aguilera, Bruno Valdez; Renata Ibarra (Fernando González, 90’), Guido Rodríguez, Francisco Córdova, Andrés Ibargüen (Leonel López, 66’); Nicolás Castillo (Giovani dos Santos, 44’), Roger Martínez

Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Luis Fuentes (Ángel Sepúlveda, 59’), Diego Braghieri, Julián Velázquez, Omar Mendoza; Washington Camacho (Camilo Sanvezzo, 71’), Leonel Miranda, Kevin Balanta, Ignacio Rivero; Ariel Nahuelpán, Miller Bolaños

Scoring: Club América - Guido Rodríguez (75’), Renato Ibarra (87’), Giovani dos Santos (90+4’); Tijuana - Camilo Sanvezzo (81’)

Disciplinary: Club América - Jorge Sánchez (Yellow - 64’), Emanuel Aguilera (Yellow - 69’); Tijuana - Ignacio Rivero (Yellow - 74’), Leonel Miranda (Yellow - 80’), Miller Bolaños (Yellow - 86’), Gibran Lajud (Yellow - 86’) Ariel Nahuelpán (Yellow - 89’), Camilo Sanvezzo (Yellow - 90’)