Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente and Tigres UANL played to a scoreless draw at the Caliente stadium Friday in week 15 action of the Apertura 2013 of La Liga MX. The Aztec dogs continue with a no loss record at home, but are dangerously close to being left out of the playoffs.
The visiting squad planted themselves in the back and decided to wait for a counterstrike opportunity giving up possession of the ball to Xolos. This closed spaces for Xolos who could not break through the solid Monterrey-based defense.
For some reason the synthetic pitch played a role during the match affecting both squads. Players from both teams miss judged the ball’s bounce on several occasions and even slipped losing the ball in dangerous locations. Despite the field’s conditions, Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti said that was no excuse.
“When we talk about the field then we create an excuse,” Ferretti said after the game. “It may affect to a certain point, but that has nothing to do with the game. That’s no excuse if you make a mistake on a pass.”
Tigres move up to the 9th position and are within a playoff spot. With three games left they are not dead in the water yet. But, they do depend on results from other teams for a favorable combination to reach the playoffs.
“We are now dependent of other results,” the Brazilian added. “Perhaps tomorrow’s result from our archrival, Monterrey, could give us a hand so we could aspire to qualify. But we need to improve on the field. The team did not give that quality game that the players can give.”
No excuses was the theme for the two coaches as Jorge Almiron went along a similar path when he spoke about his team. Xolos maintained possession of the ball but could not break through defense to get the points they need if they want to reach the playoffs.
“We had a lot of clear opportunities to seal the game,” Almiron told the press. “There weren’t many chances, but there were clear opportunities. There’s no excuses, but we couldn’t win.”
The Tijuana faithful were not happy with the result and the jeers began as soon as the referee blew the final whistle. The entire walk to the home team tunnel Almiron heard the “boos” from the fans.
“I understand that the fans are upset,” Almiron said. “They blame the coach for the bad results. All I can say is that the players are out there giving their all.”
Xolos remain in the 12th position on the league table. They still have two games left, but the chances of reaching the playoffs are slowly slipping away.