Game: Mazatlán Fútbol Club vs. Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente
Date: Wednesday, September 9th
Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Mazatlán (Mazatlán, Sin.)
Referees: REF: Fernando Guerrero Ramírez, AR1: Enríque Isaac Bustos Díaz, AR2: Cesar Cerritos García, 4TH: Louis Adrian Vielmas Valdez, VAR: Oscar Macías Romo, AVAR: Fabrice Paul Plancon-jallet
All-time record: This is the first time that Tijuana will play Mazatlán, however across all competitions, Xolos held the slight edge, winning nine to Monarcas’ eight with eight draws between them. The only times they met outside of Liga MX play was in the Copa MX, where Xolos won twice, Morelia once, and the clubs drew twice.
Tijuana (3W 1D 4L) find themselves in a familiar position: after playing a solid game at home, they’re heading on the road where they’ve been just plain bad. On the road this season, Xolos have a record of 0W 0D 3L and have been outscored nine to one. The lone goal wasn’t even from the run of play; Bryan Angulo converted a penalty in the 2-1 loss to León 5W 2D 1L). Xolos will now face Mazatlán FC (1W 3D 4L) at El Kraken as they desperately search for points.
Xolos however have proven they can play good soccer against good teams, as evidenced by their 2-1 win over Monterrey on Friday night. In that game, Tijuana was able to keep Rayados off-balance and seemed to have an answer to everything they threw at them. The issue is that they can’t seem to replicate that level of play on the road.
This may be a golden opportunity for Tijuana to play well on the road, bolster their confidence, and pick up valuable points all at once. Mazatlán is 1W 2D 1L at home so they’re not exactly pushovers, getting draws against Tigres (2W 4D 2L) and Pumas (4W 4D 0L) and beating Toluca (4W 0D 4L). They have some pretty decent players on the team; Fernando Aristeguieta has three goals on the season, Miguel Sansores provides experience off of the bench, and former Xolos Luis “Quick” Mendoza and Camilo Sanvezzo will have extra motivation against their former team.
Both teams should use this match in a push to qualify for the Liguilla, both in terms of sheer points but motivation as well. Both teams need three points here, and both need to prove to everyone (and perhaps more importantly themselves) that they have what it takes to play at a higher level.