Game: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente vs. Club de Fútbol Tigres de la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León
Date: Friday, September 13th
Time: 10:06 p.m. Eastern, 9:06 p.m. Central, 7:06 p.m. Pacific, 2:06 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Caliente (Tijuana, B.C.)
Referees: REF: Diego Montaño Robles, AR1: Alberto Morín Méndez, AR2: Miguel Angel Chua Ortiz, 4TH: Mario Humberto Vargas Mata
Radio: 98.9 FM (Tijuana/San Diego), 106.7 FM (Calexico/Mexicali)
All-time record: Tigres has definitely had the upper hand across all competitions, winning ten to Tijuana’s three with five draws - all of which were in Liga MX play. Tigres won the last meeting between the clubs, a 3-0 drubbing in Week 2 at Estadio Caliente. Tigres has won the last six regular season matchups against Xolos. The last time Xolos beat Tigres at Estadio Caliente? August 17, 2012 when Alfredo Moreno and Fernando Arce (Senior, not Junior) scored for Xolos while Elias Hernández got the consolation goal for Tigres.
Tijuana (3W 1D 3L) returns to action after the international break to host Tigres UANL (3W 4D 1L). Xolos had a decent outing last time out even though they wound losing 3-2 to a very good Necaxa (4W 2D 2L) team. They are however coming back to Estadio Caliente, which has been a fortress for Los Xoloitzcuintles. They’ve amassed a record of 2W 1D 0L in their three games there in the Apertura and have only lost there twice in calendar year 2019.
Tijuana has not been able to get consistent production from forwards Ariel Nahuelpán and Camilo Sanvezzo, who have a total of three goals between them. Washington Camacho’s two goals have him tied with Sanvezzo for the team lead, but Xolos were expecting more from both Nahuelpán and Sanvezzo. The good news is that the team has picked up the slack around them, and the club has a respectable eleven goals in their seven games.
Xolos defense will be put to a severe test though. André-Pierre Gignac is still one of the best forwards in the Americas, scoring four goals so far. The lineup is also full of players who could make an impact either from the start such as Enner Valencia, Guido Pizarro, Nahuel Guzmán, and Javier Aquino, or off of the bench like Lucas Zelerayán or Jürgen Damm.
The good news for Xolos is that each of Tigres’ last four matches have ended in 1-1 draws, and three of Gignac’s goals came within a 20 minute span against Necaxa. Tigres almost always looks vulnerable early in the season, and it’s not outside of the realm of possibility that Xolos would be able to extend that malaise.
Xolos counterattacking style may be to their advantage, as while Tigres is methodical in their attack, they are at heart an attacking team. If Xolos can isolate Gignac and get their forwards to convert their chances, they may just keep the Mictlán as imposing as ever.