Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente managed to earn a 2-2 draw against Veracruz FC at the Luis “Pirata” Fuente Stadium in Veracruz, Mexico in week 4 action of the Clausura 2016 of La Liga MX. The Aztec dogs were a man-down for the better of 85 minutes, but were able to take a point from the port city.
Xolos were in a bind five minutes into the match after defender Leiton Jimenez made contact with Daniel Villalva in the area. The referee immediately reached for the red card and sent the Colombian to the showers. Argentine Gabriel Peñalba took control of the ball and fired from the spot. Peñalba shot to the center, while goalkeeper Federico Vilar dove left missing the ball completely.
The Tiburones Rojos doubled their lead in the 27th minute. With the one-man advantage, the sharks were able to able to break through the canine defense. Juan Albin received a pass near the half-moon. Albin stopped the ball, spun and fired once more to Vilar’s left burying the ball in the back for the 2-0 lead.
But Tijuana was able to come from behind. With the scoreboard against them, the dogs applied pressure and moved their pieces forward on attack. On a counterattack, Dayro Moreno set up the Xolos goal in the 32nd minute. The Colombian passed to an open area on the pitch where Brazilian Juninho was inbound. The former Major League Soccer player hammered the ball into the back of the net to score his first Liga MX goal.
Six minutes later Tijuana scored the equalizer. Henry Martin found a loose ball inside the half-moon. With no hesitation Martin took the shot to defeat goalkeeper Meliton Hernandez to set the score at 2-2.
The second half saw more suffering for the rojinegros. Veracruz applied pressure trying to take the lead and keep the three points at home. But Xolos, along with Vilar’s ability under the three posts kept the scoreboard from moving. Tijuana earns a point on the road with the draw.
“It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, a bad taste,” Veracruz FC Coach Carlos Reinoso said about the game. “The team started well with a brilliant play we moved up 2-0. Then it looks like they lost their football memory. Tijuana made a great effort with 10 men and we fell into problems, we stopped playing, we stopped thinking about the game we needed, and we lost the ball.”
For next week, Tijuana hosts Coras Tepic FC in Copa MX action midweek. On Friday the dogs will take on Cruz Azul at the Caliente Stadium in week 5 of the Clausura 2016.