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Match recap: Club Tijuana 2, FC Juárez 1

It wasn’t pretty, but Xolos picked up three valuable points in their return from quarantine.

Tijuana v FC Juarez - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Francisco Vega/Getty Images

Tijuana was able to grit out a tough win at the Mictlán, downing FC Juárez 2-1. Both teams converted a penalty, but a late goal from Gerson Vázquez sealed the deal for a Tijuana team desperate for points. Juárez will feel like they could have performed better and to add insult to injury, will without Maxi Olivera for their next match as the defender picked up a red card late in the match.

Both teams started out a little slow, with Tijuana shaking off some rust and perhaps having trouble with the 5:00 PM local start time. The game was choppy and full of fouls, with both teams committing their fair share of malfeasance. In the 12th minute there was some controversy as Flavio Santos looked to impede the progress of Bryan Angulo, and after a VAR review a penalty was awarded to Tijuana. Angulo eventually stepped up and hammered home the penalty to give the home side the lead.

While the fouling largely subsided, the play was still rather disjointed. Tijuana looked to have a decent chance in the 23rd minute, but the AR correctly raised their flag to indicate the play was offside. Both sides then started to gain longer stretches of possession, with the final pass being poorly executed or not executed at all. Then in the 33rd, Diego Braghieri hauled down Bruno Romo in the box to give Juárez an opportunity to equalize. Dario Lezcano converted for Los Bravos to tie the score.

After that the play slowed considerably, however Mauro Lainez cracked one off of the crossbar four minutes into the six of stoppage that was awarded. That was the extent of it, and after a quick couple of fouls that resulted in not much, referee Jorge Rojas mercifully called an end to the first half.

The second half started out much more cohesive than the first ended, with both teams able to look threatening in stretches. Marcel Ruiz had a good shot in the 50th that Iván Vázquez Mellado was positioned perfectly to stop, knocking the ball upfield and out of danger. Dario Lezcano had a great opportunity in the 57th but his shot from about 20 yards out went just over the bar. In the 68th Mauro Lainez had a good look off of a free kick but his shot went well high of the bar and into the stands.

After the hydration break, both teams tried switching things up a bit but sending long balls forward. but those proved more hopeful than helpful. Juárez was also able to attempt some small ball, but it was met with good defending from Tijuana. Then in the 77th minute, a long ball from Kevin Balanta found the foot of Gerson Vázquez, whose perfect touch with his right foot beat Iván Vázquez Mellado to the ball. The net was empty and Vázquez calmly knocked it in with his left foot, giving the home side a late lead.

If that wasn’t bad enough for the visitors, in the 86th minute Maxi Olivera would see a straight red card for a violent foul. Tijuana then gave up a dangerous free kick less than a foot outside of the box thanks to a Miguel Barbieri foul. The resulting free kick swerved through traffic but was well saved by Jonathan Orozco. Luis Leal had a good look deep in stoppage time, but his shot from just outside of the box missed the post by inches. Tijuana was able to run out the clock and pick up their fourth win in ten games.

Xolos will host Chivas on Sunday evening while Juárez returns to Chihuahua to host Pachuca on Sunday as well.

Club Tijuana: Jonathan Orozco; Aldo Cruz, Miguel Barbieri, Víctor Guzmán, Vladimir Loroña; Clifford Aboagye (Gerson Vázquez, 74’), Luis Gamíz (Kevin Balanta, 45’), Mauro Lainez; Fabián Castillo (Jordi Cartizo, 65’), Bryan Angulo (Luis Leal, 56’), David Barbona (Marcel Ruiz, 45’)

FC Juárez: Iván Vázquez Mellado; Alberto Acosta (Martín Galván, 82’), Gustavo Velázquez, Bruno Romo, Maximiliano Olivera; Blas Armoa (Alan Mendoza, 69’), Martín Rabuñal, Jefferson Intriago (Joaquín Esquivel, 39’), Marco Fabián; Flavio Santos (Eryc Castillo, 69’), Dario Lezcano

Scoring: Club Tijuana - Bryan Angulo (15’ - penalty), Gerson Vázquez (79’); FC Juárez - Dario Lezcano (34’ - penalty)

Disciplinary: Club Tijuana - Luis Gamíz (Yellow - 45+1’), Mauro Lainez (Yellow - 84’), Miguel Barbieri (Yellow - 89’); FC Juárez - Maximiliano Olivera (Red - 85’)