The Tijuana Xolos have had a solid start to this Clausura 2018 season, currently with nine points in their first six games.
Defense is what has clearly stood out so far as the border city side allowed its first two goals this season in its last game against Queretaro. That game against Queretaro proved to be a complete disaster, but overall, the backline and Gibran Lajud have been very impactful for this team so far. Centre-back Pablo Aguilar has proven to be one of the best signings in the Liga MX with his amazing defensive capabilities and leadership he has shown this season.
There have been nearly no complaints about the backline, but the offense has struggled severely under Diego Cocca.
In fact, the Xolos are off to their worst offensive start after six games ever in the Liga MX, with just three goals. At this point last season, Club Tijuana had six goals under the leadership of Eduardo Coudet, but only had seven points. The Aztec Canines’ worst offensive start since this season came in the Clausura 2014, where the team only scored four goals, but did manage to make the playoffs as a seventh seed. The Border City Dogs reached their offensive peak under Miguel Herrera in the Apertura 2016 and Clausura 2017 tournaments, where the team had 13 goals after six games. The Xoloitzcuintles also managed to reach the same mark in the Clausura 2015 under Daniel Guzman.
The Xolos counted with Dayro Moreno in that Clausura 2015 to lead the attack, and with Aviles Hurtado in Miguel Herrera’s tenure, but seem to be missing that impactful player this season. Ignacio Malcorra can generate scoring opportunities and Gustavo Bou has potential to be that difference maker on the team, but it has not worked out in this Clausura 2018.
Bou only has a goal in five games, and Juan Martin Lucero has not proven to be much better with a goal in six games. Juan Iturbe is out for the season and Miller Bolanos has been very disappointing in his minutes off the bench. Perhaps, players like Luis Angel Mendoza, Julio Angulo, MateusGoncalves, and Rubio Rubin, who have yet to receive significant playing time, can start turning the tide at Club Tijuana.
Good defense can get you to the playoffs, but the Aztec Canines do need to find a way to score to start getting wins. Diego Cocca’s unappealing, pragmatic style of play has worked so far, but failed immensely against a very beatable Queretaro team at the Estadio Caliente this past Friday. The border city side will have a very tough week, facing Pachuca away from home this Wednesday, then hosting Pumas UNAM at the Estadio Caliente this Saturday. It is still unclear if Club Tijuana is poised to make the playoffs or will crumble, especially after this result against Los Gallos Blancos, but this upcoming week could prove to be crucial.