GUADALAJARA - Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles kicked off the new year and the new season under it’s new manager Cesar Farias with a disappointing scoreless draw against Atlas in Guadalajara, Jalisco. A complete opposite from last season’s disappointing 3-3 draw in the Estadio Caliente against Atlas in Jorge Almiron’s debut where the Xolos' attacking hunger ended up costing them a three goal lead.
The hero of the match was Tijuana Xolos goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo who in the first half blocked Atlas’ Edson River’s penalty kick. Besides that play no other player on the field was able to make the difference for their team,
The entire 90 minutes was a huge midfield war, in which no team was able to impose conditions. Xolos saw a bit more of the clear ball without being able to create any goal scoring opportunities. Atlas had a couple interesting approximations in the early minutes via the quick and fast counter attacks. But after the 28th minute missed penalty they were never able to cause Saucedo any more trouble,
USMNT striker Herculez Gomez who was the lone striker for the Xolos and was able to get his head on a few crosses, but they were usually off target. Gomez was for the most part of the game stranded and looked to slip to the sides or further down the field to get a hold of the ball.
As the second half wore on it seemed that new manager Cesar Farias had conformed with the 0-0 draw and sent in defensive substitutions to hold the score. He took off Joe Corona; who was the floating attacking midfielder behind the forwards, and sent in Edgar Castillo to play a flat 4-4-2 formation.
He then sent in Juan Hernandez; another central midfielder and took off Fidel Martinez who had been Gomez’s only help. And finally in the 90th minute he took off Fernando Arce for Richard Ruiz to kill off some clock.
Club Tijuana will now come home where they will face last season’s finalist Club America at the Esatdio Caliente next Friday night.