It wasn’t pretty, but the Robert Dante Siboldi era in Tijuana got off to a good start nonetheless as Xolos beat Necaxa 1-0. Fidel Martínez was the lone goalscorer, as Tijuana is at least momentarily back in the repechaje.
Necaxa did well in the early minutes of the game to control possession, however they weren’t able to generate any real chances. Tijuana meanwhile remained patient on defense, hoping to catch Los Rayos in a situation where they could counterattack effectively. Necaxa’s first chance of the evening came in the eighth minute when Alejandro Zendejas whipped in a cross for Martín Barragán, but he wasn’t able to redirect the ball on frame and it went out for a goal kick. Xolos were eventually able to wrest some possession from Necaxa but also couldn’t create much during the early portions of the match.
In the 30th minute Xolos were finally able to get a shot on goal, but the slow roller was seen the entire way by Edgar Hernández, who fell on top of the ball to snuff out any danger. In the 35th minute Fidel Martínez got free in the box and put his head into a cross, but he knocked it just wide. Then in the subsequent minute Junior Sornoza hit a shot that just missed the woodwork. As the half drew nearer, Tijuana kept on pressuring but Necaxa was able to hang on until the whistle blew.
The second half started out much like the first half, with the teams fighting for possession but not creating many chances when they were able to get it. Mauro Manotas had a dangerous looking shot in the 55th minute but it was right at Hernández, who stopped it easily. Tijuana finally broke through however in the 58th when Manotas made a great run down the left side of the pitch and hit a low, hard cross into the box that Fidel Martínez got a perfect touch on to knock it in.
Necaxa was undeterrred. In the 61st Martín Barragán hit a nice cross into the box that Rodrigo Aguirre headed on frame but was barely tipped over the bar. Rodrigo Aguirre hit a shot in the 74th but wasn’t able to get much on it and it was easily stopped. Jordi Cortizo had a good chance at the other end in the 83rd minute on a nice build up in play by Tijuana, but his shot went well over the bar. In stoppage Hernández came up big when Tijuana was able to break on a counter off of a corner kick, stopping a shot that would have put the game out of reach. Ultimately however it wouldn’t matter as Tijuana held on to get their first win in over a month.
Tijuana finishes the season on the road at Cruz Azul on Saturday, May 1 while Necaxa returns home to host Atlas on Friday, April 30th.
Club Tijuana: Jonathan Orozco; Brayan Angulo, Eduardo Tercero, Víctor Guzmán, Vladimir Loroña; Christian Rivera (Jordi Cortizo, 82’), Esteban Pavez, Junior Sornoza (Fabián Castillo, 72’) ; Fidel Martínez (Jaime Gómez, 72’) , Mauro Manotas (Edgar López, 72’), David Barbona (Marcel Ruiz, 82’)
Necaxa: Edgar Hernández; Julio Cesar González, Unai Bilbao, Mario de Luna (Ian González, 68’), Jairo González; Kevin Mercado (Jorge Aguilar, 56’) , David Cabrera (Bryan Carvallo, 78’), Alejandro Zendejas, Juan Delgado; Rodrigo Aguirre, Martín Barragán (Maxi Salas. 78’)
Scoring: Club Tijuana - Fidel Martínez (58’); Necaxa - None
Disciplinary: Club Tijuana - Esteban Pavez (Yellow - 76’), Vladimir Loroña (Yellow - 90+2’); Necaxa - None