Who can stop Xolos?
Week after week, Miguel “Piojo” Herrera’s men continue to rack up wins left and right in the 2016 Apertura competition.
Last Friday, Xolos gained their 8th victory of the season after defeating the visiting Atlas 1-0. Although Los Zorros had their fair share of opportunities in Tijuana’s defensive area, no player was able to step-up and finish any of the countless chances against the home side.
As for Tijuana, the squad was unlucky to finish with a narrow victory. The team racked up 22 shots during the game, 10 of which were on target. Despite the fact that Xolos’ Milton Caraglio garnered the match-winner, the argument could easily be made that Atlas goalkeeper Oscar Ustari was the best player on the pitch with his eight saves and two interceptions.
1-0 or 5-0, it matters not for the supporters who were once again thrilled to see Xolos dominate another match at the Estadio Caliente. This Apertura, the stadium has turned into a fortress with six wins out of six games and just one goal conceded during that run.
With 27 points gained in the tournament, and a current four point cushion over 2nd place Tigres, Xolos are essentially through to the playoffs. Keeping this in mind, it might be a good time for the manager to start providing minutes to the more noteworthy names on the bench during the last five league games of the regular season.
Luckily for Herrera, backup options like Paul Arriola, Gibran Lajud, Juninho and Juan Carlos Nuñez have the talents to maintain the squad’s status as the best team in the league. With no other competitions to worry about, it would be wise for the manager to begin to provide some more minutes and starts to those who have been riding the bench for most of the season.
Looking ahead to the playoffs in late November, Herrera and Tijuana now have a massive opportunity to win some hardware. As opposed to a couple of months ago when many stated that the club had the potential to be a playoff team, several others are now recognizing Xolos as title-contenders.
Other results from Week 12
Queretaro 1-1 Santos Laguna
Camilo Sanvezzo emerged as the hero for Queretaro after scoring the squad’s game-tying goal in the 89th minute of the draw. Santos have now gone three matches without a win.
Cruz Azul 5-3 Veracruz
After an early goal from Veracruz in the 11th minute, Cruz Azul’s Joao Rojas helped carry the team to a 5-3 win through his two goals and assist. The loss for Los Tiburones Rojos is the fourth in a row.
Monterrey 1-1 America
Saturday’s highly-anticipated match ended in an underwhelming 1-1 draw in Monterrey. New Club America manager Ricardo La Volpe will likely be content with the away point gained in his second game in charge of the team.
Leon 3-2 Tigres
Argentine striker Mauro Boselli was excellent with his goal and assist for Leon on Saturday night. As for Tigres, after going 11 matches with just four goals allowed, Los Auriazules allowed three over the weekend against Los Panzas Verdes.
Necaxa 3-1 Toluca
Necaxa, the most recently promoted club in the league, is making quiet progress in the Apertura. Thanks to the win over Toluca, Los Rayos have now gone seven games without a loss.
Chivas 2-1 Morelia
Los Rojiblancos are slowly starting to find their form in the league. After the three points gained against Morelia, Chivas are now up to 5th place in the standings and just three points behind 2nd.
Pumas 1-0 Chiapas
Matias Britos’ lone goal in the 46th minute was the difference-maker for the Mexico City club. As for Chiapas, Los Jaguares had little to offer in the loss that could have been 2 or 3-0.
Puebla 1-1 Pachuca
Another match defined by a last-minute goal. Puebla was about to walk away with a narrow 1-0 win until Ruben Botta scored the equalizer in the 93rd minute.