Believe it or not, Club Tijuana is currently the best team in the Liga MX. After defeating Leon 2-0 last Friday in the Estadio Caliente, manager Miguel “Piojo” Herrera and his men have held onto 1st place in the league table for a second consecutive week.
During the 13th minute of the recent victory, striker Dayro Moreno opened up the scoring for Xolos through a well-placed penalty that gave the home side an early 1-0 lead. Los Panzas Verdes responded with some attacking opportunities of their own, but failed to sneak anything past goalkeeper Federico Vilar.
By the time that the halftime whistle blew, Vilar was on fine form with his six saves that kept Leon scoreless during the first 45 minutes. The visiting side continued to pressure during early moments in the second half, but were left frustrated with the numerous opportunities that either hit the woodwork or landed off target.
The same couldn’t be said for Tijuana. Following a decent start to the second half from their opponents, Xolos solidified their three points through an impressive goal from Aviles Hurtado in the 83rd minute. After an excellent run and pass from midfielder Gabriel Hauche, Hurtado scooped up the deflected pass and easily lobbed a shot over Leon goalkeeper William Yarbrough. By the time that the ball landed in the back of the net, the match was all but over.
After the final whistle, Tijuana clinched a fourth victory in the first five league games of the 2016 Apertura. As for Herrera, the manager appears to not only be happy with his new favored 4-3-3 formation, but also with his roster as well.
With exciting names like Gibran Lajud, Paul Arriola, Hector Villalba, Kevin Gutierrez and Juan Carlos Nuñez on the bench, Herrera now has plenty of reliable depth in his team.
What that also means is that Xolos might be able to make a deeper run into the Copa MX this season. Although Tijuana suffered an embarrassing 4-0 loss to Lobos BUAP earlier in the competition, Xolos will be nearly through to the knockout stage of the tournament if they defeat Lobos this Wednesday at the Estadio Caliente.
It’s an exciting time for Xolos fans, and if the deep roster is able to rack up more victories in both tournaments during the next few months, this year could end up becoming another historic one for the organization.
Other results from Week 5 of the 2016 Apertura
Queretaro 0-0 Cruz Azul
Even with an advantage, Cruz Azul wasn’t able to find a goal against a Queretaro side that went down to 10 men in the 68th minute. Los Cementeros are just one of four clubs in the league that have yet to collect a win.
Monterrey 2-1 Necaxa
Striker Rogelio Funes Mori continues to be a catalyst in the attack for Monterrey. The Argentine once again scored for Los Rayados in the 62nd minute and helped carry the team to a victory over the recently promoted Necaxa.
Atlas 3-2 Puebla
What better way to celebrate a 100-year anniversary than with three points gained at home? Sporting throwback jerseys, Atlas wowed fans at the Estadio Jalisco with a thrilling match that featured a game-winning goal from Luis Robles in the 70th minute.
Pachuca 3-0 Pumas
17-year-old Juan Jose Calero was the star of Pachuca’s show. On Saturday night, the second half substitute racked up two late goals for Los Tuzos against Pumas.
America 1-1 Morelia
America fans will feel devastated after giving up a late equalizer from Morelia’s Jorge Zarate in the 79th minute. That said, even without three points gained, Las Aguilas have been able to maintain a respectable spot at third place in the standings.
Toluca 0-0 Tigres
A 0-0 draw that felt like a friendly. Both sides appeared content with Sunday afternoon’s underwhelming game in Toluca. It must be noted that Tigres, after five league matches, have yet to allow a goal in the Apertura.
Chiapas 1-1 Veracruz
After controlling most of the possession and attacking opportunities, Chiapas left Sunday night’s game with a frustrating 1-1 draw against Veracruz. While the home side amassed a total of 22 shots, Los Tiburones Rojos only collected nine.
Santos Laguna 0-1 Chivas
A win is a win. Chivas weren’t at their best but found a way to scrape past Santos Laguna on Sunday night. The bad news for Los Rojiblancos is that big names like Carlos Peña and Jose Juan Vazquez have yet to justify a starting role this season.