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Match preview: Pachuca vs. Tijuana

Tuzos and Xolos will face one another after coming off of very different draws.

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Pachuca v Tigres UANL - Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

Game: Club de Fútbol Pachuca vs. Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente

Date: Saturday, September 21st

Time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 12:00 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Hidalgo (Pachuca, Hgo.)

Referees: REF: Fernando Guerrero Ramírez, AR1: Miguel Ángel Hernández Paredes, AR2: Telly Salvador Saldivar Guzman, 4TH: Oscar Macías Romo

Television: United States - TUDN, ESPN Deportes; Mexico - Fox Sports 2 Cono Norte; Canada - Univision Canada

Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription), Sling TV (Free trial + monthly subscription), Univision NOW, ESPN+

All-time record: Pachuca holds the slight edge all-time across all competitions, having won eight to Tijuana’s seven with four draws between the clubs. In Liga MX, the clubs are even with six wins each with four draws between them. The remaining three games were in the Copa MX, with Pachuca winning the 2017 Apertura quarterfinal match 4-0 while the clubs each won a match 2-1 in the 2019 Clausura group stage. In their last meeting at Estadio Hidalgo, Pachuca won 4-0 back on March 9, getting goals from Stiven Barreiro, Leonardo Ulloa, and a brace from Edwin Cardona.

Pachuca v Leon - Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX
Franco Jara’s three goals lead Los Tuzos so far this season.
Photo by Jam Media/Getty Images

Pachuca (2W 3D 4L) heads back to the Estadio Hidalgo after giving up a two goal lead to Santos Laguna (5W 2D 1L) last week in Torreón. While their draw felt like a loss, Tijuana’s (3W 2D 3L) draw against Tigres (3W 5D 1L) last week at Estadio Caliente felt like a win for Los Xoloitzcuintles.

Pachuca hit Santos hard early, getting a set piece goal from Gustavo Cabral and a deflected goal from Edwin Cardona to go up by the tenth minute. But they squandered the lead against a very good Santos team, and Julio Furch was able to salvage a point for Santos, and in turn take two from Tuzos.

Pachuca has some decent players but hasn’t been able to put everything together on a consistent basis and sustain it for a full 90 minutes. Their consistent inconsistency is both what makes them very beatable and also very dangerous.

Tijuana v Tigres UANL - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX
Miller Bolaños’ goal in stoppage time against Tigres could be a turning point in Xolos’ season.
Photo by Fausto Vargas/Jam Media/Getty Images

Tijuana will look to take the momentum from their draw against Tigres with them to Pachuca. Miller Bolaños was the hero for Xolos, banging in a penalty deep into stoppage time to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat. Xolos have not been able to score as much as they had hoped, with only 12 goals on the season. The good news for Xolos is that Pachuca is 17th out of 19 teams in goals conceded, giving up 16 so far this season. If there’s a team for Xolos to bust out of a slump against, it’s Tuzos.

But in order to do that, Xolos will need to finish their chances. The team has been decent at creating goalscoring opportunities, but both forwards Ariel Nahuelpán and Camilo Sanvezzo have missed easy opportunities this season. If these men can heat up, Xolos could see themselves in the Liguilla picture fairly soon.