It was rarely pretty, but at the end of the evening it was a win for Tijuana as they downed UNAM Pumas 1-0 at Estadio Caliente. Camilo Sanvezzo’s third goal in three straight games across all competitions was all the hosts needed.
It wasn’t easy, either. Pumas had a decent opportunity in the second minute when an attempted clearance by Tijuana ricocheted off of a Pumas player and on to Pablo Barrera. Barrera would hit a cross but it was cleared out for a corner kick. Pumas played a fast paced press, not allowing Xolos much time on the ball whatsoever.
Xolos strength however is on the counter, and in the ninth minute TIjuana was able to execute perfectly. Leonel Miranda played an incisive ball forward to Miller Bolaños, who was just onside. Bolaños hit a perfect cross out to the left for Camilo Sanvezzo, and Sanvezzo hit the ball past Alfredo Saldívar to give the home side the 1-0 lead early.
In the 14th minute Xolos would almost get another when a cross to Ariel Nahuelpán was headed back to an open Washington Camacho, but the Uruguayan’s shot went well over the crosssbar. In the 26th minute there was a bit of controversy as Omar Mendoza drove into the box. Nicolas Friere made a sliding tackle that looked to have caught Mendoza high, but even after a VAR review it was ruled not to be a penalty. Mendoza was shown a yellow card for simulation when he took his time leaving the field of play and goalkeeper Alfredo Saldívar gave him the lightest of shoves.
VAR would be used again on a foul by Camilo Sanvezzo in the 31st minute when he went to clear a ball and caught Barrios in the head. Barrios was leaning down to head the ball and a yellow was shown to Sanvezzo and then confirmed by VAR. Due to all of the disruptions in play, there were five minutes added to the first half.
After the half, the rough and tumble play kept going. In the 58th, Xolos would have a close call when a header by Washington Camacho went just wide of the post. Miller Bolaños would hit a free kick from about 20 yards out that just went over the bar in the 75th minute. Two minutes later Bolaños would hook up with Ángel Sepúlveda on a break but Sepúlveda was met by Saldívar at the last moment to prevent a shot. In the 81st, Bolaños would hit a swerving free kick that Saldívar punched out as far as Nahuelpán, but the resulting header went over the crossbar.
Xolow would apply enough pressure to keep Pumas from being able to mount any serious challenges and was able to run out the clock.
Xolos will head to Querétaro to face Los Gallos Blancos in Copa MX play on Tuesday before heading into the bye week. Their next Liga MX match is in Toluca against Los Diablos Rojos on Sunday, August 25. Pumas will head to Estado de Mexico to face UAEM Potros in Copa MX play on Tuesday before returning to CU to host Veracruz on Sunday.
Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Ignacio Rivero (Luis Fuentes, 68’), Diego Braghieri, Julián Velázquez, Omar Mendoza: Kevin Balanta, Leonel Miranda; Washington Camacho (Fernando Arce, Jr., 86’), Miller Bolaños, Camilo Sanvezzo (Ángel Sepúlveda, 71’); Ariel Nahuelpán
UNAM Pumas: Alfredo Saldívar; Alan Mendoza (Juan Iturbe, 72’), Luis Quintana, Nicolás Friere, Alan Mozo; Ignacio Malcorra, David Cabrera (Felipe Mora, 46’), Andrés Iniestra, Pablo Barrera (Brian Figueroa, 63’); Juan Pablo Vigón; Carlos González
Scoring: Tijuana - Camilo Sanvezzo (9’); UNAM Pumas - None
Disciplinary: Tijuana - Omar Mendoza (Yellow -27’), Camilo Sanvezzo (Yellow - 31’), Kevin Balanta (Yellow - 38’), Ariel Nahuelpán (Yellow - 43’); UNAM Pumas - Alfredo Saldívar (Yellow -27’), Juan Pablo Vigón (Yellow - 41’), Nicolás Friere (Yellow - 75’), Ignacio Malcorra (Yellow - 90+2’)