Tijuana Xolos hosted CF Monterrey in Week 3 of the 2017 Apertura season of Liga MX and showed a lot of improvement compared to their Week 2 loss to Club Necaxaa. But the improvement was not good enough to avoid yet another loss, or even good enough to get Xolos their first goal of the season.
Visiting Monterrey walked out of the Estadio Caliente in Tijuana with a 3-0 win. And it was former Tijuana Xolos star Aviles Hurtado who led the way for the Monterrey side. The Colombian forward scored the first two two goals of the night to lead his team to victory over his former club. Hurtado was transferred to Monterrey for an undisclosed large amount of money. Larger than what Club America and former manager Miguel Herrera had offered.
Club Tijuana players started looking more like a team against Monterrey, there was better communication among the Xoloitzcuintles players and the elementary mistakes that took place against Necaxa in Aguascalientes last weekend were gone. But despite the improvements, Xolos were still up against one of the best teams/squads in all of Liga MX.
“I think it is our chemistry,” said Xolos attacker Paul Arriola following the match. Arriola saw hist first minutes in Liga MX against Monterrey after winning the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup with the U.S. Men’s National Team. “We have to get use to each other, it’ll take some time.”
Tijuana Xolos are still feeling the pain from key departures over the past two seasons. Gabriel Hauche, Dayro Moreno, Milton Caraglio and most importantly Aviles Hurtado were all key parts of the attack that led Xolos to top of the table finishes in the last two consecutive seasons and all are now gone. Also gone is the man who led the team to those heights Miguel Herrera. New manager Eduardo Coudet is still trying to get his squad to play as a cohesive unit.
“The team is not developing the way we want it to,” said Coudet in his post-game news conference. “We need to work to put a team on the field that reflects what we really are.
“We put in a lot of attacking players and we have not created scoring chances. Losing doesn’t scare me, but the way inadequate way we’ve lost.”
Moonterrey were patient and allowed Xolos to try an develop their attacking options. But with the lack of chemistry those attacks did not produce much for Tijuana. Monterrey were then able to hit back on quick counter attacks led by the dangerous Aviles Hurtado and fellow Colombian Dorlan Pabon as well as Argentine striker Rogelio Funes-Mori.