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Tijuana’s dreadful defense allows 6 to Pachuca; Tuzos now 3rd in league table

Xolos’ defense was non-existent in the second half; they allowed 4 goals and it could’ve been more.

Pachuca v Tijuana - Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Forget the fact Jonathan Orozco botched a clearance in the 1st minute of action, allowing Pachuca to fire off a shot that whistled just above the crossbar. Forget the fact Xolos missed a penalty kick in the 16th minute with the score still 0-0. Forget that they allowed 2 goals in three minutes in the first half. Forget they had no ability to react in the first half, deservedly trailing 2-0 at the half. Forget Tijuana had a man disadvantage in their own penalty box when Pachuca scored their third of the match. Just ignore all of this for a couple minutes.

If Ricardo Valiño’s system was already broken as they trailed 3-1 with a menacing Pachuca going for more, his two 67th minute subs further stomped on it, if that’s even possible. He took out Di Santo for Alex Ibarra, which is basically man for man, but his second sub was taking out MF Lucas Rodríguez for ST Edgar López. If anything, that sub opened huge lanes in their tactical reshuffling, so much so that in the 72nd minute, after a couple skilled touches, Érick Sánchez found himself wide open just outside Tijuana’s box as he drove with the ball and had three teammates to his sides against just three Tijuana defenders. He opted for Avilés Hurtado who easily poked the ball in.

60 seconds later (no joke), after recovering possession, it was RB Kevin Álvarez’s turn to drive the ball up wide open with not a single Tijuana defender applying any sort of pressure. It’s worth noting Pachuca again had a 4-on-3 advantage. Upon approaching the box, Álvarez sent in a perfect cross where only Nico Ibáñez could reach it, who volleyed it past a diving Orozco who barely got a touch on it. However, Orozco contributed to this one as well, as the keeper should’ve dealt with the attempt that was headed in his direction. All of a sudden, in a matter of a couple minutes, the score went from 3-1 to 5-1.

Proof of Valiño’s bad tactical arrangement was his 74th minute sub (just seconds after Pachuca’s 5th). He corrected immediately and took out RW Joaquín Montecinos to bring in a MF in Francisco Contreras. And that still didn’t stop the bleeding. In the 81st minute, Érick Sánchez took the ball just inside the left side of the box, With his back facing the goal and recently subbed in Contreras on him, he turned and made a couple of dribbles, easily getting past the midfielder, to comfortably send the ball into the six-yard box where he found Israel Luna, who without a hassle just deflected the ball in for the 6-1. Ibáñez would have one more header a few minutes later which hit off both posts to only stay out of the goal, but that could’ve easily been their 7th of the night.

Absolutely dreadful performance by Valiño’s club in every aspect. From bad goalkeeping by Orozco, to non-existent defense / midfield, to little to no reaction capacity on the offensive end. A complete joke of a team who took the field yesterday against a serious title contender who proved it, as they easily dismantled the border team. Pachuca have now established themselves firmly in 3rd overall with 28 points, just 3 behind league leaders América and Monterrey. Tijuana, on the flip side, remain on the outside looking in as 14th overall with 15 points, and now own the 3rd worst defense in the league with 27 goals allowed. We better hope they don’t make the playoffs if this is what we’re getting.