Sun, Dec 30 2012 08:29 AM Posted By: Jonny Rico
Club Tijuana took the field on Saturday night for the first time as reigning Mexican League champions. They faced Dorados of Sinaloa, the reigning Copa MX champion, in what would be the team's only pre-season game.
Tijuana manager Antonio Mohammed's lineup included a majority of the first team with the objective of getting them in game day rhythm before next Sunday’s visit to Puebla to kick off the Clausura 2013 tournament.
It was clear this was the Xoloitzcuitles’ first game back; players were slower in all likelihood because of a brief vacation and the physical training they have been doing.
The Xolos started their now usual 4-3-3 and the game plan still seemed the same as last season; maintain ball possession through short passes in the midfield until the forwards find space to run down a long pass. And while it was working at a slower pace than usual, Xolos were still creating some dangerous goal scoring opportunities that the forwards were not taking advantage off.
Dorados opened up the scoring. Javier Gandolfi committed a foul outside of the penalty box, Gustavo Ramirez of Dorados took the free kick which deflected on the wall of defenders sending goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo the wrong way.
Dorados of Sinaloa would add two more goals in the second half through Christian Lopez on identical counter attacks.
With a 0-3 score line and non-stop rain the seats at the Estadio Caliente were becoming emptier and emptier. But fans who stayed were in for a treat. Second half substitute Bruno Pieceno got the Xolos on the board at minute 82. Five minutes later Joshua Abrego, another second half substitute, got the Xolos within one after heading the ball into the net off of a free kick on the outer right side of the penalty box. And it would be yet another second half substitute Edgar Villegas to cap off the come-back one minute after the Abrego goal.
A beautiful through ball pass in midfield was played to Raul Enriquez who then passed the ball across the penalty box to leave Villegas alone to tap in the ball in front of goal. With the score 3-3 and four minutes of added time given by the referee, Xolos went out in search of the winning goal. The four minutes came and went, and the referee’s final whistle marked the final score 3-3.
© 2009 The Star-News