Tijuana and Querétaro both needed a win, but it was Xolos getting their first win in six games who picked up all three crucial points on the evening. Fidel Martínez had a brace, his first goals since all the way back in Week 5.
It wasn’t long before Tijuana got on the board. In just the first minute of play David Barbona made a fantastic pass on the turf up to Christian Rivera, who chipped the ball centrally to an onrushing Fidel Martínez and he didn’t miss, nabbing his fifth goal of the season.
Three minutes later it was Fidel Martínez playing Manotas in, and Manotas again hit a quick shot that caught Gil Alcalá flat-footed for his fourth of the season and second in as many minutes.
The score wouldn’t stand long however when three minutes after that Jefferson Montero chipped a ball in centrally and Víctor Guzmán knocked it in for an own goal.
The game finally settled into a less frenetic rhythm, with both teams tightening up on defense. Tijuana still had the upper hand, coming out with some good runs and audacious long passes forward, but Querétaro looked better prepared to handle these maneuvers. Then in the 30th minute Martínez took a shot from outside the box that looked either like a poor cross or a very hopeful shot. Alcalá got his hands on it, but inexplicably the ball made it’s way through his hands and into the back of the net.
Tijuana almost notched another one in the 38th minute when David Barbona hit a shot from distance that grazed the top of the crossbar. That would be as close as either team came to another goal before the end of the half.
In the second half, Querétaro looked a little more dangerous in the attack, spending significant amounts of time in the Tijuana zone but not getting much in the way of actual chances. In the 54th Kevin Escamilla had a shot from distance that was turned aside by a fingertip
In the 78th it looked like Tijuana had added another when Mauro Manotas was played in and he rifled one into the back of the net. The AR had raised the flag however and ruled it offside. A quick check of the replay showed it was close but the call was in fact correct and play continued. In the 89th it looked like Querétaro had scored when Jonathan Dos Santos was played in and headed the ball into the net but he too was (correctly) called offside and the goal was disallowed.
The stoppage time came and went, and Querétaro simply couldn’t break through Tijuana’s defense. Both teams will be off next week due to the international break. Tijuana returns on Saturday, April 3 when they face Atlas in Guadalajara, while Querétaro will host Tigres on Sunday, April 4.
Club Tijuana: Jonathan Orozco; Brayan Angulo, Víctor Guzmán, Eduardo Tercero, Jaime Gómez (Luis Gamíz, 90+1’); Junior Sornoza, Christian Rivera, Esteban Pavez, David Barbona (Marcel Ruiz, 68’); Fidel Martínez (Edgar López, 86’), Mauro Manotas (Miguel Sansores, 90+1’)
Gallos Blancos de Querétaro: Gil Alcalá; Omar Mendoza, Martín Rea, Daniel Cervantes, Luis Valencia; Kevin Escamilla (Javier Ibarra, 60’), Fernando Madrigal; Jefferson Montero (Gonzalo Montes, 45’), Ángel Sepúlveda, Kevin Ramírez; Hugo Silveira (Jonathan Dos Santos, 59’)
Scoring: Club Tijuana - Fidel Martínez (1’, 30’), Mauro Manotas (4’); Gallos Blancos de Querétaro - Víctor Guzmán (7’ - autogol)
Disciplinary: Club Tijuana - Brayan Angulo (Yellow - 22’) ; Gallos Blancos de Querétaro - Martín Rea (Yellow - 55’), Jonathan Dos Santos (Yellow - 65’), Javier Ibarra (Yellow - 90+1’)