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Match recap: Necaxa 2, Club Tijuana 0

For the first time since March, fans were in attendance at a Liga MX match as Necaxa downed Xolos 2-0.

Necaxa v Tijuana - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Omar Martinez Martinez/Getty Images

.It wasn’t a packed house by any stretch of the imagination, but there were fans in attendance for the first time since March as Necaxa downed Tijuana 2-0 to re-insert themselves in the Liguilla conversation. Xolos conceded too many free kicks deep and paid on two of them, with David Cabrera serving up headers for Ian González and former Xolo Fernando Arce, Jr.

Necaxa took an early lead when they were able to retain possession and Tijuana commited a foul deep. The resulting free kick from Cabrera found the head of González, and he deflected it past Jonathan Orozco to give the home fans something to cheer.

Necaxa almost got a second off of a similar situation in the sixth minute when a conceded free kick headed toward the corner of the net, but fortunately for Tijuana, Orozco was able to tap it away. Necaxa then caught an unlucky break when Jair Pereira was forced to leave the match in the 10th minute with what looked to be a muscular issue. In the 17th minute, Xolos conceded another free kick, this time just inches outside of the box. The free kick from Cabrera smashed off of the crossbar and out of play.

Xolos were able to get some possession in the Necaxa end, and perhaps in honor of Jorge Campos’ birthday yesterday Orozco came all the way up to take a free kick in the 25th minute. His shot however hit the wall and went out of bounds. Tijuana almost conceded another in the 36th when Vladimir Loroña took his time getting to clear a ball into the box and out of nowhere Alex Zendejas sprinted to get a header but Orozco was positioned perfectly to hang on to it. Necaxa went into the locker room the deserved leaders.

Necaxa wasted no time in the second half testing Tijuana, with David Cabrera unleashing a shot on goal before the first minute had expired, however Orozco was again in perfect position to stop the shot. Then in the 48th there was controversy as Unai Bilbao and Kevin Balanta battled for the ball. Bilbao hit the ball up and into Balanta’s arm, but referee Adonai Escobedo and the VAR officials declined to review it and play was allowed to continue. Then in the 54th Escobedo whistled a penalty when goalkeeper Luis Malagón went for a ball when Mauro Lainez went into the box. There was contact, but how much depends on which team you were hoping would win. Either way Escobedo again didn’t go to a VAR review, and Bryan Angulo stepped up to the spot and shot, but Malagón made the save and the crowd erupted in cheers of “Portero! Portero!”

Necaxa almost scored in the 67th when a poor giveaway in the box allowed ex-Xolos prospect Fernando Arce, Jr. to get a shot off that Orozco had to make a save on. Xolos then conceded a free kick deep in the 80th mintue when Jaime Gómez pulled down a player. Cabrera was again the one to take the free kick and Arce got his head to it, putting it past Orozco and exacting his revenge on his old team.

While Malagón had to make a couple of additional saves, he was able to pick up his fourth clean sheet of the season. Necaxa will head to Querétaro to face Gallos Blancos next Saturday while Tijuana will head home to squeeze in a Copa MX match against Monterrey on Wednesday before heading back out on the road, this time to face Toluca on Sunday afternoon.

Necaxa: Luis Malagón; Idekel Domínguez, Jair Pereira (Mario De Luna, 11’), Unai Bilbao, Julio González; Alejandro Zendejas, David Cabrera, Claudio Baeza (Fernando Arce, Jr., 45’), Juan Delgado (Maximiliano Salas, 73’); Lucas Passerini (Martín Barragán, 73’), Ian González (Alejandro Andrade, 90+1’)

Club Tijuana: Jonathan Orozco; Miguel Barbieri, Víctor Guzmán, Jaime Gómez, Vladimir Loroña (Aldo Cruz, 71’); Mauro Lainez (Jordan Rezabala, 71’), Marcel Ruiz (Edgar López, 63’), Kevin Balanta, David Barbona (Jordi Cortizo, 60’); Fabián Castillo , Bryan Angulo (Luís Leal, 60’)

Scoring: Necaxa - Ian González (3’), Fernando Arce, Jr. (80’); Club Tijuana - None

Disciplinary: Necaxa - Idekel Domínguez (Yellow - 45’), Gabriel Simón (Yellow - 58’); Club Tijuana - Jaime Gómez (Yellow - 79’), Jordi Cortizo (Yellow - 82’)