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Match recap: Toluca 2, Club Tijuana 0

Toluca picks up all three points, downing Tijuana 2-0 thanks to goals from Rubens Sambueza and Jonatan Maidana.

Toluca v Tijuana - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Two early goals from Toluca was enough, as they down Tijuana 2-0. Rubens Sambueza scored his second of the season and Jonatan Maidana tacked on an insurance goal while goalkeeper Luis García and the defense picked up their fourth shutout of the season.

Both teams started the game looking to create chances, and it more resembled a basketball game with the teams going from end to end. Luis Leal had the game’s first real chance when in the third minute he unleashed a shot from about 20 yards out, but Luis Garcia saw the shot the entire way and made the easy save. A missed tackle along the touch line by Tijuana instantly turned into trouble as Alexis Canelo ran down the line and hit a cross into the box that was dummied perfectly by Michael Estrada and Rubens Sambueza was able to get to it and hit a left footed shot past Jonathan Orozco.

Then in the 15th minute it was Jonatan Maidana getting his head to a free kick to knock it past Orozco to double the lead.

Tijuana tried to counter, but offensively fell flat. Passes didn’t connect, and shots were wild and ill thought out. As Xolos faltered, Toluca continued to create chances, forcing Orozco to make several saves to keep the lead to just two. Sambueza had a free kick in the 35th that Orozco parried to safety, while in the 38th William da Silva broke through the defense to get a header that narrowly missed the goal. Estrada took a shot that just went over the crossbar in the 40th, and by the time the half expired Tijuana was lucky to be down only two and not considerably more.

Tijuana executed what hockey announcers like Mike “Doc” Emerick would refer to as “a line change” at the half, making four of the five substitutions at once. It helped some for Tijuana, who looked a little more dangerous on the ball, but still couldn’t execute. Fabián Castillo had a dangerous shot in the 61st but García made a great diving save to punch the ball out of harms way.

Toluca almost scored again in the 69th when Kevin Castañeda his a shot from distance that beat everyone including Jonathan Orozco but hit off of the post and out. The game really kind of settled down in the final stretch, with both teams seeming to accept the inevitability of the result.

Toluca will head to Aguascalientes to face Necaxa in the early game on Friday, while Tijuana returns home to host Pachuca in the late game on Friday.

Toluca: Luis García; Diego González (Adrián Mora, 84’), Oscar Ortega, Jonatan Maidana, Gastón Sauro, Raúl López; William da Silva (Giovanny León, 79’), Antonio Ríos (Javier Güémez, 64’), Rubens Sambueza; Alexis Canelo (Enrique Triverio, 84’), Michael Estrada (Kevin Castañeda, 63’)

Tijuana: Jonathan Orozco; Aldo Cruz (Mauro Lainez, 45’), Jordan Silva (Christian Rivera, 45’), Miguel Barbieri, Víctor Guzmán; Jordan Rezabala (Fabián Castillo, 45’), Marcel Ruiz (Edgar López, 45’), Jordi Cortizo, Jaime Gómez; David Barbona (Bryan Angulo, 70’), Luis Leal

Scoring: Toluca - Rubens Sambueza (7’), Jonatan Maidana (15’); Tijuana - None

Disciplinary: Toluca - None; Tijuana - None