The Tijuana Xolos continued their good form in Week 9 of the Liga MX 2018 Apertura with an away win against Atlas. Los Zorros had been the worst team in the league and the Aztec Canines needed to win this game if they had any hopes of making the playoffs.
The border city club was coming off a win against Necaxa at the Estadio Caliente and managed to extend their winning streak to two games with a 1-0 win against Atlas. Club Tijuana had not won a game on the road this season while their opponents had not won a game at all.
Despite the low scoreline the game had a high tempo and turned out to be a very hard-fought and physical clash. The Xolos were down to 10 men from the 14th minute as team captain Juan Carlos Valenzuela picked up a red card.
After the red card, Diego Cocca needed to adjust his lineup and brought on defender Gustavo Canto for striker Juan Martin Lucero in the 22nd minute. The Border City Dogs still managed to play a very competitive match and the clash then became very even as Atlas’ Lorenzo Reyes picked up a red card in the 37th minute for pushing Gustavo Canto.
The gritty encounter stayed scoreless up until the 55th minute when Luis Fuentes scored off a corner kick to give the Xoloitzcuintles a slim 1-0 lead. Diego Cocca’s team was not holding onto the ball with just 37-percent possession, but Atlas was not doing much with the sphere.
The home team finished the game with 21 shots, but only three on target while Club Tijuana had just seven total shots and five on target. Gibran Lajud also had a very good performance as he kept a clean sheet and made some key saves in the match.
The field at the Estadio Jalisco was in dismal conditions with added to the grittiness of the match and Luis Chavez even picked up an injury after being subbed on and being on the pitch for just six minutes.
The Xolos managed to pick up the win as they now have 12 points and are in 13th place after nine rounds of play in the 2018 Apertura. The Border City Dogs host Pachuca this next Saturday, Sept. 22, as they try to keep their good form.
Xolos’ Starting Lineup: Gibran Lajud, Omar Mendoza, Julian Velazquez, Juan Carlos Valenzuela (22’ Gustavo Canto) Luis Fuentes, Ignacio Rivero, Diego Rodriguez, Diego Gonzalez, Fabian Castillo (66’ Luis Chavez (72’ Jesus Angulo)), Miller Bolanos, Juan Martin Lucero