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Match recap: Club Tijuana 2, Monterrey 1

While Rayados were largely the better side throughout the match, Xolos were able to convert their chances and get all three points at the Mictlán.

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

Xolos got a brace from Fabián Castillo while the defense bent but didn’t break, downing Monterrey 2-1. Rogelio Funes Mori got the lone goal for Rayados, who will have to be frustrated after dominating the match in possession and chances created.

While it initially looked like Monterrey might start out on the front foot, it was Tijuana who got the first goal when Nicolás Sánchez got twisted up while defending Mauro Lainez as Lainez went past him to get onto a pass from Fabián Castillo. As the defense scrambled to get to Lainez, Castillo drifted in and Lainez returned the ball to him and Castillo fired past Hugo González at close range for his first goal of the season.

Rayados to their credit didn’t waver from their game plan. They were able to get some good stretches of possession and methodically work the ball down the pitch which resulted in a couple of early chances that missed the mark. Xolos had a good break of their own in the 12th minute but the final pass to Bryan Angulo resulted in a heavy touch and Rayados defenders were able to boot he ball to safety. Tijuana had the better portion of possession and chances for a large portion of the first half after the goal, while Monterrey looked confused and lacked confidence.

RAyados drew one back however in the 24th minute on a perfectly executed counterattack. Carlos Rodríguez passed it out wide right to Dorlan Pabón, who centered it for the railing Rogelio Funes Mori. Funes Mori’s shot was on frame, and just like that Xolos’ lead had evaporated.

Funes Mori had a shot at a second goal in the 27th but his shot wasn’t hit cleanly and goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco was able to easily gather the ball. At the other end, Tijuana had a great chance in the 32nd when Bryan Angulo was played in onside by a great header but his close-range right-footed shot went into the side netting. Funes Mori had another break in on goal a couple of minutes later but Orozco slid and got the ball (and the man as well) to break up the chance. Castillo almost had a brace as well when he was able to make some fantastic moves to glide through the Monterrey defense and into the box only to force his shot well high of the net.

After the break Monterrey was much more composed and confident, keeping Xolos largely pinned in their own half. Xolos however were able to break in the 53rd minute. Bryan Angulo nutmegged Matías Kranevitter and then passed a perfectly timed ball forward to Castillo. This time Castillo’s touch on the ball was perfect, getting it up and over González and into the back of the net.

Monterrey went back to work however, still keeping the ball down in the Tijuana end for long stretches. Monterrey was able to generate chances, but Tijuana’s defense came up big in several occasions to dispossess at the last second or force a poor shot. Funes Mori was played in by a brilliant ball in the 61st minute and tried a taconazo, but his touch failed him and the ball went the opposite way. Ten minutes later Maxi Meza had a good opportunity for a header but the ball was cleared out at the last second.

Tijuana had a good opportunity in the 75th to tack on another goal, but the shot from Angulo from the top of the box went wide of the net. While Monterrey seemed like the better team for large portions of the evening, Xolos were able to convert their chances while Rayados were wasteful. Monterrey’s shot selection grew ever more desperate as the clock approached 90, and Tijuana was happy to allow their guests to take shots that were more hopeful than dangerous.

Due to the doble jornada, Tijuana will head to Mazatlán on Wednesday before returning home next Sunday to host Cruz Azul. Rayados meanwhile will head back to Monterrey to host Atlas on Tuesday before heading to Pachuca to take on Tuzos the following Monday, September 14. The teams will face off again on Wednesday, September 16 in the Copa MX final in Tijuana.

Club Tijuana: Jonathan Orozco; Jordan Silva, Jorge Aguilar, Víctor Guzmán, Jaime Gómez; Mauro Lainez, Christian Rivera (Kevin Balanta, 74’), Edgar López, Jordi Cortizo (Marcel Ruiz, 68’); Fabián Castillo (Aldo Cruz, 78’), Bryan Angulo

Monterrey: Hugo González; Sebastián Vegas, Nicolás Sánchez, César Montes, Stefan Medina (Jonathan González, 81’); Jesús Gallardo (Miguel Layún, 65’), Carlos Rodríguez, Matías Kranevitter (José Alvarado, 81’); Rogelio Funes Mori, Vincent Janssen (Maximiliano Meza, 59), Dorlán Pabón

Scoring: Club Tijuana - Fabián Castillo (1’, 52’); Monterrey - Rogelio Funes Mori (23’)

Disciplinary: Club Tijuana - Mauro Lainez (Yellow - 7’); Monterrey - None