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Match recap: Tijuana 1, Tigres UANL 1

A wild night that saw three red cards and a dramatic game-tying penalty for Xolos against Tigres.

Tijuana v Tigres UANL - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Fausto Vargas/Jam Media/Getty Images

Tijuana earned a tough point at Estadio Caliente against Tigres thanks to a late penalty converted by Miller Bolaños. Lucas Zelerayán scored for the visitors, as the result was Tigres’ fifth straight 1-1 draw,

Tijuana started off aggressively, immediately tearing down the field and forcing Nahuel Guzmán to make a save in the second minute. In the sixth minute, Cesar Falletti drew a foul just outside of the Tigres box, but the resulting free kick went straight into the wall. Tigres was largely playing a slow, methodical approach in their attack, and Tijuana was quick to adjust and cut down the amount of openings that the visitors had.

Tigres had a great opportunity in the 17th minute when Luis Quiñones went down to the corner flag along the right and somehow managed to squirm through two defenders and get a centering pass off to Jesús Dueñas. Dueñas took a shot past an out of position Gibran Lajud, but Diego Braghieri was there for Xolos to clear the ball off of the line.

Two minutes later, it was André-Pierre Gignac making a wonderful through ball to Lucas Zelerayán. Zelerayán was able to get through two defenders and take a shot that Lajud made a fantastic save on.

The pace of the play slowed dramatically, with Tigres maintaining possession and looking for vulnerabilities to exploit in Xolos’ defense, however there were precious few to find. Tijuana to their credit was equally as patient. In the 31st minute, Tigres’ patience would pay off as Zelerayán hit a shot from distance that took a dip and skipped on the turf past Lajud.

On the restart, Luis Quiñones committed a foul and picked up a yellow card. He complained to the referee, who showed him a second yellow and sent him off, putting Tigres down a player for the remainder of the match. On the restart, Xolos had a great opportunity when Leonel Miranda hit a shot into the box that Braghieri got his head to, but Guzmán was there to make the save.

The start of the second half was not the best for Tijuana. While they came out looking hungry, they kept making mistakes and were unable to get any good looks at goal. In the 54th minute, Aldo Cruz would commit a foul on Jesús Dueñas and at first he was shown a yellow, but after a VAR review the yellow was replaced with a straight red card and both teams were down to ten players on the field.

The game got chippier and chipper as it progressed. Both teams picked up yellow cards as the tackles got harder and harder. Eventually more space opened up on the pitch as both teams became more comfortable playing in the ten versus ten situation. Tigres had a fantastic chance when they found themselves in a three on one situation in Xolos’ end, but Javier Aquino got selfish and was dispossessed, drawing the ire of his teammates.

Gignac almost had one in the 75th minute when he was hit on a great cross, but his one-time shot went just wide of the net. Xolos began to pressure, and in the 82nd minute Erick “Cubo” Torres’ header couldn’t quite get to an open Ariel Nahuepán in the box.

In the 86th, Gignac made a break down the right side of the pitch and hit a pass across to Enner Valencia, but Lajud made a fantastic sliding save to kick the ball out of harms way. As the clock struck 90 minutes, Nahuel Guzmán rushed out to punch a floating cross. In doing so, he pushed Diego Braghieri from behind and a penalty was whistled. It was reviewed by VAR and upheld, and Miller Bolaños was able to convert from the spot to draw the sides level.

In stoppage, Cubo Torres had a good opportunity that was well defended by Tigres and Nahuelpán got his head on a corner that just missed the mark, but Xolos simply couldn’t get the game winner.

Xolos will head to Pachuca to take on Tuzos next Saturday evening, while Tigres will head to Mexico City to play Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup on Wednesday before hosting Puebla on Tuesday the 24th in Liga MX play.

Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Aldo Cruz, Diego Braghieri, Julián Velázquez, Omar Mendoza (Ignacio Rivero, 46’); Cesar Falletti (Erick Torres, 75’), Leonel Miranda (Mauro Lainez, 65’), Kevin Balanta, Miller Bolaños; Ariel Nahuelpán, Camilo Sanvezzo

Tigres UANL: Nahuel Guzmán; Jose Torres Nilo, Diego Reyes, Hugo Ayala, Jesús Dueñas (Enner Valencia, 79’); Javier Aquino, Guido Pizarro, Rafael Carioca, Luis Quiñones; Lucas Zelerayán (Luis Rodrígiez. 72’), André-Pierre Gignac (Eduardo Vargas, 88’)

Scoring: Tijuana - Miller Bolaños (90+3’); Tigres UANL - Lucas Zelerayán (32’)

Disciplinary: Tijuana - Omar Mendoza (Yellow - 38’), Aldo Cruz (Red - 53’), Diego Braghieri (Yellow - 60’), Ariel Nahuepán (Yellow - 63’); Tigres UANL - Luis Quiñones (Yellow - 33’, Yellow - 34’), André-Pierre Gignac (Yellow - 34’), Ricardo Ferretti (Yellow - 38’, Yellow - 51’)