In the opening match of the Apertura 2016 season, Tijuana earned a 2-0 victory over Monarcas Morelia. The win ends a nine-game home winless streak for the Xolos, who failed to win a single game in the Estadio Caliente during the Clausura 2016.
It was not all good news for Tijuana, though, as they saw several players leave the field with injuries. New addition Avilés Hurtado had to be subbed off after less than half an hour, while Milton Caraglio was stretchered off just minutes from the end of the match.
The visiting Morelia found the first chance of the game through Jefferson Cuero, but he took the selfish option of shooting instead of looking to a teammate in better position and the chance came to naught.
After that, Tijuana quickly grew into the game, with their first chance coming through Dayro Moreno in the 4th minute. The Xolos soon began to control the run of play and Víctor Malcorra forced a good save out of Carlos Felipe Rodríguez in the 35th, before Caraglio had a good look of his own soon after.
In the waning moments of the first half, the Xolos finally took the lead. After blocking a shot, Facundo Erpen was called for a handball in the box. Despite his protests that the ball hit his chest – even lifting his shirt to show reddened skin – referee Ángel Monroy Bello pointed to the spot.
Dayro Moreno stepped up to take the penalty and he converted it, sending Rodríguez the wrong way to give Tijuana the 1-0 lead in first-half stoppage time.
Enrique Meza made a halftime substitution as he looked to get Morelia back into the game, but before Raúl Ruidiaz had a chance to make an impact, Moreno scored again.
In the 55th minute, Moreno played a quick one-two with Caraglio that ended with the Colombian driving into the box and firing past Rodríguez to make it 2-0.
After going so long without a home win, Tijuana was determined not to let this lead slip. Monarcas were not overly threatening, although Federico Vilar made the saves he needed to on the rare occasion when the visitors put a shot on frame.
Throughout the ninety minutes, Morelia managed only five shots (three on goal) to Tijuana’s 11 (seven on goal).
That was despite the aforementioned injuries suffered by the Xolos, who saw out the final few minutes of the game with 10 men due to Caraglio’s injury after all three substitutions had been used.
With the 2-0 win, Tijuana reaches three points while Morelia remains on zero.
Tijuana: Federico Vilar, Greg Garza (Damián Pérez 67′), Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Víctor Aguilera, Juan Carlos Núñez, Guido Rodírugez (Yasser Corona 76′), Víctor Malcorra, Avilés Hurtado (Gabriel Hauche 27′), Juan Carlos Medina, Milton Caraglio, Dayro Moreno.
Morelia: Carlos Felipe Rodríguez, Enrique Pérez, Hugo Rodríguez, Facundo Erpen, Carlos Morales, Diego Valdés (Raúl Ruidiaz 46′), David Cabrera, Juan Pablo Rodríguez, Cristian Penilla, Jefferson Cuero (Alejandro Gagliardi 62′), Luis Gabriel Rey (Rodrigo Millar 56′).