Tijuana came into this match needing a road victory to help bolster their claims for a Liguilla spot. Atlético San Luis continued to struggle at home, and Xolos was able to get a 3-2 win that wasn’t as close as the scoreline might have indicated.
The match started out rather slow, although over time both teams would get looks at goal. San Luis looked content to hold on to possession, try for a long ball forward and then wait to spring the counter on Tijuana when possession was lost. Tijuana to their credit largely sat behind the ball, forcing Atleti to try and play outside of their comfort zone.
In the 18th minute, Xolos conceded a free kick just outside of the box and luckily for them the resulting shot hit the crossbar and went out of bounds for a goal kick. In the 26th minute, a floated cross found the head of Nicolás Ibáñez but went straight into the waiting hands of goalkeeper Gibran Lajud.
In the 34th minute, Xolos looked to have had a real chance when Jordan Silva hit a fantastic cross to Mauro Lainez, but his header went off of the crossbar and was judged to be offside anyway. A minute later, Miller Bolaños would hit a shot that goalkeeper Carlos Rodríguez got his fingertips to to push wide.
As the clock struck the 45 minute mark, Vladimir Loroña committed a bad giveaway to an onrushing Juan Castro, however a heavy touch allowed Diego Braghieri to race forward and make a diving sliding tackle to prevent a bad situation.
Shortly after the start of the second half, a San Luis player kicked an arcing back pass that Rodríguez had to make a diving save on. Xolos were awarded an indirect free kick at the six yard box. On the restart, Bolaños touched the ball and Nahuelpán hit a hard shot that tucked inside of the near post to give Xolos the lead.
In the 59th, Nahuelpán would double the lead when he was able to get up over the mixer on a corner kick and hit a powerful header that caught Rodríguez flat-footed.
Then in the 64th Leonel Miranda and Miller Bolaños wound up in a two-on-one situation racing down the pitch on Rodríguez. Miranda would hit the shot from distance and extend Tijuana’s lead to three. The goal was Miranda’s first goal in Liga MX play and his second in a Xolos uniform.
Atleti would pull one back in the 67th when Oscar Macías drove down and hit a shot from about 25 yards that Lajud couldn’t get to in time.
Tijuana looked well in control however. In the 81st they had a good opportunity when Bolaños hit a fantastic cross to an onrushing Washington Camacho, however the Uruguayan’s first touch was a bit too heavy and the ball went straight to Rodríguez.
Immediately before the final whistle blew, Nicolás Ibáñez was able to draw one more back for Atleti, but on the restart the whistle blew and the match ended.
Atlético San Luis will host Pumas in Copa MX play on Wednesday before heading to Juárez to face their fellow Liga MX debutantes in Liga MX play on Sunday. Tijuana’s next match is on Friday when they host Atlas at the Mictlán.
Atlético San Luis: Carlos Rodríguez; Luís Reyes, Unai Bilbao, Joaquín Laso, Juan Portales; Juan Castro (Diego Pineda, 70’), Oscar Benítez (Oscar Macías, 61’), Sebastián Mayada, Matías Catalán; Nicolás Ibáñez, Germán Berterame
Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Vladimir Loroña, Diego Braghieri, Julián Velázquez, Jordan Silva; Mauro Lainez (Aldo Cruz, 66’), Kevin Balanta, Ignacio Rivero, Leonel Miranda (Washington Camacho, 76’); Miller Bolaños (Ángel Sepúlveda, 89’), Ariel Nahuelpán
Scoring: Atlético San Luis - Oscar Macías (67’), Nicolás Ibáñez (90+5’); Tijuana - Ariel Nahuelpán (50’, 59’), Leonel Miranda (64’)
Disciplinary: Atlético San Luis - Germán Berterame (Yellow - 31’), Joaquín Laso (Yellow - 90’); Tijuana - Diego Braghieri (Yellow - 36’), Ignacio Rivero (Yellow - 79’), Miller Bolaños (Yellow - 87’)