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Match recap: Pachuca 2, Club Tijuana 1

Tuzos pick up their first win of 2021, downing Xolos 2-1.

Pachuca v Club Tijuana - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

After a long week of matches, Liga MX finally finished with a somewhat tame affair between Pachuca and Tijuana resulting in Pachuca getting their first win of the season. A ten minute flurry aside, the match was mostly calm, although there were some moments of drama.

The early minutes of the match didn’t offer much, as neither team really threatened the other. Xolos’ first chance of the game didn’t come until the 29th minute when Esteban Pavez hit a long range shot that missed the net by a couple of yards. Mauro Manotas looked to have had an opportunity in the 30th when he was played forward past goalkeeper Oscar Ustari, who had come way off of his line. Manotas’ touch was too much however and allowed the defender to scramble the ball away before there was ever any danger. In the 35th Tijuana would finally break through when a cross into the box was headed out, but Fabián Castillo read it perfectly and hit a shot that beat Ustari to the far post.

In the 38th the fortunes would change however when Gonzalo Jara stuck out his leg and tripped Kevin Álvarez in the box. After a brief VAR review, it was confirmed and Ismael Sosa stepped up and converted the penalty to draw the sides level at one goal each.

Then in the 41st Kevin Álvarez got a goal of his own when he avoided a sliding tackle, squared up, and hit a rocket of a shot that froze Jonathan Orozco as it whizzed into the back of the net to give Tuzos the lead.

While this flurry seemed to invigorate both teams, neither were either able to threaten much heading into the halftime break. After the break, Tijuana may have had a slight edge in possession but neither team was able to get a shot on goal until Junior Sornoza tried his luck with a long shot in the 51st that Ustari saw the entire way and stopped easily.

In the 55th there was a bit of controversy when Fidel Martínez got tangled up with Emmanuel García in the box, but referee Diego Montaño declined to blow the whistle and play continued. The television replays showed there wasn’t much there, despite Pablo Guede’s protestations to fourth official Víctor Alfonso Caceres.

At the other end, Sosa had a good shot in the 61st that would have been on frame, but took a deflection off of a defender and wound up going just wide. Jaime Gómez had a good look on a volley in the 84th but it went straight into the waiting arms of Ustari.

Deep in stoppage, Luis Calzadilla was shown a yellow card for a stomp on the foot of a Tijuana player. Diego Montaño reviewed it with VAR and changed the yellow to red. Even with the advantage, it was too late and Xolos couldn’t stop Pachuca from picking up their first win of the season.

Pachuca will head to Toluca to face los Diablos Rojos on Sunday, March 14 while Tijuana hosts Santos Laguna on Saturday, March 13.

Pachuca: Oscar Ustari; Emmanuel García, Miguel Herrera, Gustavo Cabral, Kevin Álvarez; Erick Aguirre, Luis Chávez (Efraín Orona, 82’), Erick Sánchez (Luis Calzadilla, 83’); Felipe Pardo (Bryan González, 62’), Roberto Nurse (Mauro Quiroga, 62’), Ismael Sosa (Jorge Hernández, 68’)

Club Tijuana: Jonatha Orozco; Brayan Angulo (Jaime Gómez, 45’), Gonzalo Jara, Víctor Guzmán, Vladimir Loroña; Junior Sornoza (Jordi Cartizo, 81’), Esteban Pavez, Christian Rivera, David Barbona (Fidel Martínez, 45’); Mauro Manotas (Miguel Sansores, 61’), Fabián Castillo

Scoring: Pachuca - Ismael Sosa (39’ - penalty), Kevin Álvarez (41’); Club Tijuana - Fabián Castillo (34’)

Disciplinary: Pachuca - Luis Calzadilla (Red - 90+1’); Club Tijuana - Brayan Angulo (Yellow - 16’), Miguel Sansores (Yellow - 76’)