A late goal gave Tijuana a 1-0 win over Cruz Azul in the opening match of week four action. The victory keeps the Xolos perfect at home this season, while Cruz Azul is now winless in three in league play.
The first half didn’t feature many chances for either side, and when there was a goal-scoring opportunity it was due as often to defensive error as to attacking skill. In the 25th minute, Cruz Azul’s defense relaxed to watch a deflected ball run out of play; Avilés Hurtado took advantage of their distraction to run past them, collect the ball on the end line, and drive towards goal, although Jesús Corona was able to intervene.
For the Máquina, the best chance of the half came in the 31st minute, when Martín Rodríguez met the ball at the far post. He couldn’t get the right contact, though, and Gibrán Lajud scooped it up to maintain the goalless draw.
In the second half, the visitors had the better of the chances, and Lajud was forced into a few noteworthy saves to keep Cruz Azul from taking the lead.
However, when a goal finally did come, it came at the other end. In the 80th minute, Juan Carlos Valenzuela got his head to a free kick from Víctor Malcorra to put the Xolos ahead 1-0.
Despite out-shooting Tijuana by nearly a factor of 3:1, Cruz Azul was unable to find an equalizer, and pressure is beginning to mount on Paco Jémez.
With the 1-0 win, Tijuana reaches nine points while Cruz Azul remains on four.
Tijuana: Manuel Gibrán Lajud, Michael Orozco, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Víctor Aguilera, Damián Pérez, Paul Arriola, Avilés Hurtado, Guido Rodríguez, Joe Corona (Juan Lucero 90′), Víctor Malcorra (Juan Medina 84′), Milton Caraglio (Henry Martín 70′).
Cruz Azul: José de Jesús Corona, Omar Mendoza, Julián Velázquez, Julio César Domínguez, Adrián Aldrete, Ángel Mena (Joao Rojas 75′), Rafael Baca, Christian Giménez, Gabriel Peñalba, Martín Rodríguez, Jorge Benítez (Martín Cauteruccio 60′).