Tijuana Xolos Apertura 2018 Copa MX Recap: Aztec Canines Take Down Diablos, Get First Win In Copa MX

Credit: Liga MX

Tijuana, Mexico

The Tijuana Xolos played their second game in the 2018 Apertura edition of the Copa MX on Wednesday, Aug.8.

The Xoloitzcuintles’ first game in the competition ended in a disappointing and dull 0-0 draw against FC Juarez. That was not the case at the Estadio Caliente on Wednesday as the Xolos picked up a dominant 2-0 win against Toluca.

Diego Cocca presented a potent lineup in the game that featured players like Hiram Munoz, Luis Chavez, Diego Gonzalez, Jesus Angulo, Rubio Rubin, and Erick Torres. Toluca featured a very young lineup, with the only standouts being former Xolos’ player Richard Ruiz, Alexis Canelo, and Alfredo Talavera.

The Border City Dogs started the game off with a bang as they achieved an early lead just three minutes into the game with a goal by Erick “El Cubo” Torres.

The goal came from a strike inside of the penalty area after a cross by Luis Chavez. The game did cool down a bit after that, but Club Tijuana still looked like the much better team after the end of the first half.

The second half then started with a penalty in favor of Toluca in the 55th minute of the clash. Alexis Canelo then went on to blast the sphere into the stands and the score remained the same. Diego Cocca made his first substitution in the 58th minute by replacing Diego Gonzalez with Ignacio Rivero. Cocca was then forced to take Daniel Lopez off the pitch and replace him with Antonio Nava in the 64th minute after an injury to the youngster.

The Argentine’s final substitution came three minutes later when he brought on Miller Bolanos for Jesus Angulo. Bolanos made an immediate impact and really sparked the offense with a goal in the 77th minute of the match.

The Xolos then controlled the rest of the game and hung on to the comfortable result in front of the sold-out crowd.

The Aztec Canines were the much more dominant team, and that showed throughout the encounter. The attack was fluid and the defense looked solid with Hiram Munoz and Gustavo Canto doing solid work in the backline. The win catapulted Club Tijuana to first place in Group 2 of the Copa MX as they leapfrogged FC Juarez in the standings.

Xolos Lineup: Luis Michel, Luis Martinez, Gustavo Canto, Hiram Munoz, Jesus Angulo (67’ Miller Bolanos), Diego Gonzalez (58’ Ignacio Rivero), Luis Chavez, Brian Garcia, Daniel Lopez (64’ Antonio Nava), Rubio Rubin, Erick Torres

Main Talking Point: Depth

This result, and the players that featured in it, really showcased the depth that this Xolos’ team has. The defense has players like Hiram Munoz and Gustavo Canto to cover players like Juan Carlos Valenzuela and Julian Velazquez. In the midfield, there are a plethora of options like Luis Chavez, Diego Rodriguez, Ignacio Rivero, and Diego Gonzalez. The attack then has countless options like Rubio Rubin and Juan Martin Lucero, who featured in this game, and Eryc Castillo and Fabian Castillo, who were not even on the bench.

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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