Game: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente vs. Club Atlético Monarcas
Date: Wednesday, September 25th
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: Roberto García Orozco, AR1: Andres Hernández Delgado, AR2: Cesar Cerritos García, 4TH: Juan Andres Esquivel Gonzalez
Radio: 98.9 FM (Tijuana/San Diego), 106.7 FM (Calexico/Mexicali)
All-time record: Across all competitions, Monarcas holds the slight edge, winning eight to Xolos’ seven with six draws between them. The only times they have met outside of Liga MX play have been in the Copa MX, where each team has won once and the clubs drew once as well. The last time the teams met was back on April 26, when Tijuana got two goals from Gustavo Bou and goals from Miller Bolaños and Jesús Angulo on the way to a 4-1 win at Estadio Morelos. The last time the teams met in Tijuana, Xolos got goals from Fabián Castillo and Antonio Nava but Monarcas got a brace from Miguel Sansores and a goal from Sebastián Vegas in a 3-2 victory for the visitors.
Tijuana (3W 2D 4L) suffered one of their worst defeats in recent memory on Saturday, going down to Pachuca (3W 3D 4L) 4-1 at Estadio Hidalgo. They’ll return to Baja California to face an in-form Morelia (5W 1D 4L) team that has won four of their last five games.
Tijuana’s defense has been suspect, sitting 17th out of 19 teams in goals allowed. They’ve given up eight goals in their last three games and 17 goals over all nine games they’ve played. While their offense has put up a respectable 13 goals, giving up that many negates any positives the offense may generate.
Tijuana’s saving grace may be their home field advantage, where they are undefeated in four games, winning two and drawing two. They’ve also given up just four goals in those four games at the Mictlán while scoring six. If they can get those kinds of performances on a more consistent basis (and perhaps on the road as well), this could be a team that realizes its Liguilla ambitions.
Morelia on the other hand is looking good value to realize their Liguilla ambitions. Morelia has given up just nine goals in their ten games, which is tied for first. They’ve been getting consistent performances from long-timers Sebastián Sosa, Gabriel Achilier, and Mario Osuna as well as newcomer Joaquín “Shaggy” Martínez. The club has given up more than one goal just once this season, in their opening day 4-2 loss to Tigres (3W 5D 1L).
Morelia’s big knock this season has been their offense. They’ve only scored 11 goals in 10 games, and have only come back once this season in their 1-1 draw with Atlético San Luis (4W 2D 3L). If Morelia can score first and sit back and defend they’ll be content, however if Xolos can finish their chances and get on the board early they may continue their dominance at home.