Club Tijuana Gains a Noteworthy Home Win Through a 6-2 Demolition of Puebla

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Club Tijuana Gains a Noteworthy Home Win Through a 6-2 Demolition of Puebla

Xolos love to put on a show at the Estadio Caliente. Last Friday, in the organization’s 200th game at the venue, Tijuana showcased its attacking st

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Xolos love to put on a show at the Estadio Caliente.

Last Friday, in the organization’s 200th game at the venue, Tijuana showcased its attacking strength with an astounding 6-2 victory against Puebla.

In a time where fans are currently worried about a Xolos frontline without Dayro Moreno or Gabriel Hauche, starters like Aviles Hurtado, Milton Caraglio, Ignacio Malcorra and Paul Arriola eradicated those fears with their incredible performances.

With two goals in the win, Hurtado was easily the man of the match on Friday night. The Colombian was the clear leader in the attack who initiated most of Tijuana’s most dangerous opportunities moving forward. Since the departure of Moreno and Hauche, Hurtado has responded by carrying most of the weight and responsibility left behind by those key players.

That said, it also must be noted that Puebla was abysmal in the loss, especially during the end of the game.

Simple mistakes in the midfield and defense allowed Xolos to score four of their six goals in the last 30 minutes of the match. Goalscoring chances for Joe Corona and Caraglio were essentially gifted by the opposition that completely fell apart in the second half.

In what looked like a 3-4-3 formation in the attack, Xolos manager Miguel “Piojo” Herrera was able to capitalize on Puebla’s mistakes through his various players who were eager to push high up the pitch.

With Guido Rodriguez controlling his spot as a defensive midfielder, which then provided freedom of movement from other central midfielders like Juan Carlos Medina and Corona, Xolos were able to create opportunities that led to a total of 16 shots in the victory.

However, defensively for Tijuana, there still needs to be some fine-tuning from the manager. Despite the one-sided win, the two goals allowed by Puebla can’t be overlooked. Against a more daunting squad like Tigres or America, Xolos could easily run into some more problems from the three-man central defensive line.

This means that wing-backs like Damian Perez and Arriola, if given more starts, will need to be more proactive about stepping back and providing more coverage.

These defensive issues are small for now, and at the moment, many supporters will justifiably not be too worried after the recent six-goal show that Tijuana put on during the same week as its 10-year anniversary.

Also, if Arriola, Caraglio and Malcorra can continue to support Hurtado, there might still be a chance that Xolos could impose themselves in the attack in the same manner that was seen last season. Although it will be nearly impossible to replicate the magic provided by Moreno and Hauche, Xolos have plenty of intriguing options that could at least help them get close.

Following Friday’s match, Soccer Nation caught up with Arriola and Corona, who both provided goals for Tijuana on Friday night.

Photo credit: Itzel Segura

Photo credit: Itzel Segura

“I was happy, of course,” said Arriola about his incredible long-range goal for Xolos in the 61st minute. “But to be honest, I’m not much of a goalscorer.”

“Still, there are some aspects in my finishing that I can improve, and on that one, I was able to just connect well and concentrate on the ball. Miguel [Herrera] is always telling me to concentrate on the ball and stop worrying about running past people and just focus on the ball the whole time,” stated the 21-year-old.

Regarding his incessant amount of energy on the pitch, the wing-back opened up about how he maintains so much stamina in his performances.

“It’s definitely the adrenaline,” said Arriola with a laugh. “If you see me after the game in the locker room, you would be like ‘wow, this guy, he’s not going to get up for two days.’ Which is how I feel after games.”

“I really try to leave everything on the field, because really, who knows if there is a tomorrow. Especially for a young guy in the Mexican league and on the national team, there really is no time for me to rest. Whenever I go out there, I have to be prepared, which I usually am.”

Photo credit: Itzel Segura

Photo credit: Itzel Segura

Corona, who had just taken part in his first Xolos match at the Estadio Caliente since 2015, chatted about his flexibility as a midfielder for Herrera.

“I was playing with Dorados and Veracruz as more of a center mid, where Guido is playing right now,” said Corona. “When I came to Tijuana in the preseason, Miguel Herrera started using me as a winger. That’s a position I’m pretty familiar with, I’ve played it before. I’m just trying to adapt as fast as I can.”

As for his goal in the 84th minute, it was clear that the opportunity was an important one for the local hero.

“It was an amazing feeling,” said Corona. “When I got to go in the field, and the way the fans received me, it was just an incredible feeling. I felt like I was home. Being able to score that goal has just made everything better. It was like the cherry on top of the cake. It was emotional.”