Tijuana still winless after sharing four goals with buoyant Santos Laguna


Tijuana are still searching for their first league win of the season after just missing out in their 12th attempt due to a 94th minute equaliser for Santos.

Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente, or rather more easily referred to as just Xolos, are a relatively new club, having only been formed 17 years ago in 2007. They are named after the dog Xolo Mayor, the national dog of Mexico, which the ancient Aztecs considered sacred some 4,000 years ago.

Xolos made an incredibly strong impact very early on in their short history.

After just five seasons they had not only made it into Liga MX, the top division in Mexico, but had actually won the Championship in 2012, an incredible feat for such a new club.

This success is recognised by the three stars on their current team badge – one for promotion, one for winning the 2nd division and the third for winning the top division.

Tijuana continued their success onto the international stage by getting as far as the quarter finals of the Copa Libertadores the following season, with impressive victories along the way against Brazilian giants Corinthians and Palmeiras.

Their was a fairly sizeable crowd for their Friday night match against Santos Laguna in their 27,000 capacity Estadio Caliente.

From a pre-match tour of the tail gate party in the stadium’s car park, it was clear they have a sizeable support who travel across the nearby border from California in USA.

In fact, an upcoming event over the border may impact this club further when Major League Soccer arrives in San Diego next season just 20 miles north of Tijuana.

There is huge potential for a strong partnership between both clubs to promote and enhance football in both local communities across the border and there is already talk of an annual pre-season friendly between the clubs.

Xolos took full advantage of having the only artificial pitch in the 18-strong Liga MX by hosting two of their youth matches in the same stadium in the hours building up to the main kick off.

This makes for a great opportunity for fans to get a regular view of the upcoming talent for their club.

This season had not been rosy thus far for the winless Xolos. Eleven Liga MX games had produced seven draws and four losses.

They started the match against Santos in 16th position and in desperate need of a win. Santos meanwhile were riding high on confidence following three wins in a row, which had seen them climb to 12th position, after suffering four defeats in a row.

Santos continued this strong run by deservedly leading the match 1-0 at half time following a 28th minute goal by midfielder Aldo López Vargas, who headed in his first goal for the club after 53 matches.

Under pressure manager Miguel Herrera made two changes at half time for Xolos. That, alongside his half time team talk seemed to transform his side’s performance in the second half. They looked a completely different side, from docile kitten to barking xoloitzcuintli, you could say.

Second half goals from Paraguayan international striker Carlos González and Colombian midfielder Christian Rivera turned round the match and seemed to be enough to give the home side their first long awaited win of the season.

However when the fourth official signalled there would be eight minutes of injury time, the doubts started to appear in the Xolos’ players’ and fans’ minds alike.

Sure enough Ronaldo Prieto popped up to get the 94th minute equaliser for the away side.

Xolos will now have two full weeks because of the international break to work on how they get back to winning ways.

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