Every now and then there are crazy three game weeks in Mexico’s Liga MX. There wasn’t one planned for this time of the season but a referee strike caused Week 10 of the current 2017 Clausura season to be postponed. In order to make up those games from Week 10, Liga MX had to play what is known as ‘jornada doble‘ midweek.
Tijuana ended the busy marathon of a week, which included one home game and two road games, with seven points of the nine in dispute. Xolos are now unbeaten in its past five matches and have climbed up to second place in the league table just one point shy of league leaders Toluca FC.
One of the catalyst for Tijuana’s good run as of late is Colombian forward Aviles Hurtado. Hurtado, playing in his second season with the club, has netted four goals in the past four matches and now sits at the top of the scoring charts in Mexico with eight goals so far this 2017 Clausura season.
The hectic week began with Xolos hosting Club America at Estadio Caliente. The home side control much of the game and ball possession throughout the 90 minutes but were unable to find away to get the ball into the opposition’s net. The game ended in a 0-0 draw and a split of the points. (Watch Highlights)
Both teams had a depleted defensive with multiple players missing. A goal fest was expected in Tijuana but the young defenders of both teams stepped up and put in a good performance and both defensive units earned shutouts.
TWO SOLID ROAD WINS
After the scoreless draw in Tijuana several players and the Assistant manager all expressed the disappointment in not picking up all three points in a game that the Xolos had dominated. So the team hit the road for two consecutive away games looking to make up for what they considered dropping two points at home.
On Wednesday evening Xolos visited Estadio Corregidora in the city of Queretaro. Tijuana had accumulated three consecutive games without a win and were starting to slip away from the top spots in the league. Queretaro needed a win to start inching towards the playoff zone of the league table.
The game was every evenly match. Both team wanted the three points and fought hard. In the end it was a clear penalty in Tijuana’s favor that decided the game in Xolos’ favor. Aviles Hurtado was kicked inside of the box and then converted the penalty into the 1-0 lead which ended up being the final score. (Watch Highlights)
From Queretaro, Xolos kept going further south into the Mexican jungle in Chiapas near the Guatemala-Mexico border.
Chiapas FC were suppose to be easy prey for Xolos but the home side it currently fighting for its first division life. Chiapas now has three games left in the Clausura season to avoid the relegation drop to the Liga de Ascenso. With the pressure of the relegation on them, Chiapas came out and put in a solid performance, especially in the first half of the match. The home side was rewarded with a 1-0 lead seconds before the halftime break.
It all went wrong for Chiapas FC seconds into the second half when goalkeeper Moises Muñoz committed a very silly mistake with the ball at his feet and gifted former Chiapas FC striker Aviles Hurtado the equalizing goal. Second half sub Juan Martin Lucero scored the go-ahead goal for the Xolos after a fantastic Hurtado play in midfield which sprung Paul Arriola free who put in the assist for Lucero.
The Xolos held on to the Chiapas late game pressure to earn another three points with the 2-1 scoreline. (Watch Highlights).
TOP OF THE TABLE BATTLE COMING UP
Xolos will now return home from the southern border in Chiapas to the northern border in Tijuana. Next up for the Xoloitzcuintles will be to host the current league leading Toluca FC at Estadio Caliente.
Toluca sit at the top of the Liga MX table with 26 points. Xolos are right behind them with 25 points and could jump Toluca into the first place spot with a win next Friday in Tijuana.