Tijuana did their best to hold América at bay, but Las Águilas were able to break through late and pull off a 2-0 win over Xolos thanks to goals from Pedro Aquino and Henry Martín, who moves into tenth overall in Club América history for goals scored.
The game got off to a quick start as América immediately came down the pitch and Roger Martínez got past the Xolos defense, hitting a shot from the edge of the box that Jonathan Orozco was able to save. América was relentless with their pressure, with Tijuana finally gaining some possession and getting out of their zone for a spell in the fifth minute of play. It was a brief respite however, and América got right back to work in the Tijuana end of the field. In the 12th minute Brayan Angulo put on a show of individual skill along the end line to work his way out of danger, but unfortunately the his teammates couldn’t create a chance with it.
América was able to keep the pressure up, conceding just one dangerous chance in the 26th minute when Fidel Martínez found Mauro Manotas in stride, but the ball was poked off of his foot and cleared out for a corner kick. In the 31st, Tijuana was able to break forward again, but only mustered a hopeful shot from distance from David Barbona. América broke downfield in the 35th but a spectacular defensive play from Vladimir Loroña prevented Roger Martínez from going in alone on goal. While the pace of play had slowed considerably by the half, Tijuana was a bit fortunate not to be down a goal at the break.
In the second half it was Tijuana’s turn to come out fast, with Esteban Pavez hitting a shot that Memo Ochoa made a great save on. The rebound went back to Pavez, but his resulting shot went wide. Then in the 49th at the other end it was Pedro Aquino hitting a shot from the top of the box that Orozco was forced to tip over the top of the bar. On the resulting corner kick, Martínez put his head through a ball that Orozco again tipped over the top of the bar.
In the 59th América looked like it would have a real chance when Tijuana couldn’t quite clear the ball from the area. Pedro Aquino attempted a chilena but didn’t get enough on it and the ball was cleared out for another corner kick. In the 61st Roger Martínez was able to get the ball in space but rushed his shot a bit and it went wide of the net. In the 64th minute América broke the deadlock when Aquino chested down the ball in the area, turned, and fired through traffic and past Orozco. Referee Oscar Mejia García ruled it was a handball, and then overturned it after a VAR review.
GOL del @ClubAmerica.— FOX Deportes (@FOXDeportes) March 4, 2021
Jugada revisada en el #VAR y el árbitro da como buena la anotación de Aquino. 1-0 para la visita. #FOXLigaMX con @SirJohnLaguna @marianot19 @RaoulPolloOrtiz @giselle_zm @yani_gianola pic.twitter.com/aodJXxnv41
América looked like it was going to double the lead in the 76th when they got a breakaway but Orozco was able to make a sliding save, taking a decent impact from the onrushing attacker. Out of possession, América started counterpressing, harassing Xolos players pn their first touch and it worked. In the 82nd Xolos turned the ball over deep and while Orozco was able to make the initial save, he gave up a big rebound. Leo Suárez got to it and hit it into Orozco’s hand, and the ball deflected to Henry Martín who finally put the ball into the net for the second goal of the evening.
GOL de @ClubAmerica@HenryMartinM está sentenciando el marcador a pocos minutos del final en la cancha de Tijuana. #FOXLigaMX con @SirJohnLaguna @marianot19 @RaoulPolloOrtiz @giselle_zm @yani_gianola pic.twitter.com/HxC6rUTBDr— FOX Deportes (@FOXDeportes) March 4, 2021
The rest of the match was fairly subdued, as both teams saw the writing on the wall. Tijuana will head back on the road to face Pachuca on Monday, March 8 while América heads home to host León on Saturday, March 6.
Club Tijuana: Jonathan Orozco; Brayan Angulo, Gonzalo Jara, Víctor Guzmán (Edgar López, 76’), Vladimir Loroña (Jaime Gómez, 70’); Miguel Sansores (Fabián Castillo, 53’), Esteban Pavez, Christian Rivera, David Barbona (Jordi Cortizo, 70’); Mauro Manotas, Fidel Martínez (Junior Sornoza, 53’)
América: Guillermo Ochoa; Luis Fuentes, Emaunuel Aguilera, Sebastián Cáceres, Jorge Sánchez; Pedro Aquino (Federico Viñas, 90+2’), Santiago Naveda; Mauro Lainez Jesús Escoboza, 90+2’), Álvaro Fidalgo (Leo Suárez, 74’), Sebastián Cordova (Antonio López, 86’); Roger Martínez (Henry Martín, 74’)
Así saltan nuestras XI Águilas a la cancha. pic.twitter.com/rN94LfWvaA— Club América (@ClubAmerica) March 4, 2021
Scoring: Club Tijuana - None; América - Pedro Aquino (66’), Henry Martín (82’)
Disciplinary: Club Tijuana - Vladimir Loroña (Yellow - 63’); América - None