The Tijuana Xolos played their 11th game in the Liga MX 2019 Clausura season as Club Tijuana hosted Monterrey at the Estadio Caliente this Saturday, March 16. This was set to be a very difficult match for the Aztec Canines as Monterrey was undefeated in Liga MX play heading into this clash.
The Prehistoric Dogs were the underdogs heading into this encounter, despite the home-field advantage. The first half ended scoreless as the visiting team did control the game with 57-percent possession and four total shots.
Oscar Pareja played a very conservative and organized style of play as the Xoloitzcuintles were able to keep Monterrey in check. The game grew with intensity in the second half as fans from both teams created a vibrant atmosphere at the Mictlan.
The Xolos did not have much of the ball in the second half, but were able to make good use of the sphere when they had it with five shots on target. The lone goal of the game fell in the 67th minute of the clash as Miller Bolanos put the ball in the back of the net to give the Xoloitzcuintles the lead.
Ignacio Rivero passed the ball to Bolanos, then the Ecuadorian forward passed the sphere to Gustavo Bou, who gave it back to Bolanos as “El Killer” then finished the opportunity with perfection. The play was very well-executed and the Xolos did not have it easy after that goal as Monterrey really pressed to tie up the score.
Oscar Pareja made his first substitution in the 78th minute as Jesus Angulo replaced Fabian Castillo. Pareja then switched to a five-man backline in the 82nd minute as centre-back Juan Carlos Valenzuela came on for striker Gustavo Bou.
The Colombian manager then made his final substitution in the 89th minute as Miller Bolanos was replaced by midfielder Luis Chavez to add stability to the midfield. Gibran Lajud did a tremendous job in net with four saves throughout the encounter and he really came up big in the second half.
The Mexican goalkeeper had a bit of extra motivation as he was kept off of the recent Mexico national team squad. Lajud shined and made his case for being called up to Mexico by Gerardo “Tata” Martino.
The game finished with great intensity as the Xolos tried to waste every second on the clock, which clearly bothered the visiting players. There were some altercations in the final minutes, but Club Tijuana pulled off the improbable victory in front of its home fans.
The three points from the game were immense as the Border City Dogs are now in fifth place with 19 points. The Xolos go into the international break in a playoff position and will now focus on their next opponent, Queretaro.
— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) March 17, 2019
Xolos’ Lineup: Gibran Lajud, Omar Mendoza, Julian Velazquez, Diego Braghieri, Luis Fuentes, Diego Rodriguez, Fabian Castillo (78’ Jesus Angulo), Miller Bolanos (89’ Luis Chavez), Gustavo Bou (82’ Juan Carlos Valenzuela), Ariel Nahuelpan