Tijuana falls to last place after defeat at Puebla

Tijuana falls to last place after defeat at Puebla

There’s nowhere to go but up for Club Tijuana.

After falling to a 2-1 defeat Sunday night at Puebla, the team now sits at the bottom of Liga MX. It’s possible the club could climb out of the basement, with one match remaining, but Dorados, the team that beat Chivas to hurdle the Xolos, have two games remaining in the season while Tijuana has just one.

Without question, former Mexico national team manager Miguel Herrera has plenty of work to do when he takes over the team, but Sunday’s result wasn’t the worst performance in the club’s six-match losing streak (a streak that totals eight matches without a victory).

Puebla, a team still looking to lock up a postseason bid, dominated the opening stages of the match. That domination paid off when a deflected shot fell to Christian Bermúdez in the 14th minute and the Puebla striker lashed it past Tijuana goalkeeper Gibran Lajud.

The Mexico U-23 goalkeeper made plenty of stops to keep Xolos in the match, but he was beaten again in the 32nd minute when Carlos Alberto Gutiérrez used his heel to pull back a ball he received in the box for Luis Gabriel Rey. The Colombian’s left-footed effort beat Lajud from close range to give Puebla the 2-0 advantage heading into the halftime break.

The Xolos came out stronger in the second half, with Puebla largely happy to sit back and protect its lead, though Matias Alustiza tested Lajud early.

The task became that much harder for Puebla when Flavio Santos entered the match in the 64th minute. His first action was to bring down American Tijuana midfielder Alejandro Guido, and Santos was sent off after just 47 seconds of play.

The man advantage helped Tijuana gain the upper hand, and eventually it paid off with a goal. Dayro Moreno followed up on a long shot from outside the box that Puebla goalkeeper Israel Villaseñor spilled and gave Tijuana the consolation prize.

Despite Alustiza also seeing red, Tijuana wasn’t able to find another goal and fell to another league defeat.

Tijuana now takes the entire international break to prepare for the final regular season match, which takes place Nov. 20 against Atlas in Estadio Caliente.