Club Tijuana hosted Leones Negros from Guadalajara in week seven of the Liga MX Apertura, sliding through with a 1-1 draw courtesy of Juan Arango's left foot and a Fidel Martinez equalizer.
Xolos managed to hold possession and attack well throughout most of the game, with several chances in the first half that showed promise but no finish. Dario Benedetto, Joe Corona, Dayro Moreno, and Juan Arango were key figures in Tijuana's movement toward goal but were unable to produce a goal until the 23rd minute, when Arango struck a long range ball from about 35 yards to open scoring. It was his second game this week for Club Tijuana after he scored the lone goal for them on Tuesday night in Copa MX.
An injury to Benedetto halfway throughout the first 45 minutes gave substitute Henry Martin further opportunity to showcase his importance, moving the ball creatively even when he had very little room. Assuming Benedetto's position came easy for Martin, which should give fans confidence in Tijuana's depth in the forward position.
It was a lot of back and forth in both halves, with Leones Negros pressuring and forcing interim captain Javier Guemez and fellow central defender Hernan Pellerano into a few clearances. The second half brought more momentum for the visitors, but Xolos defense did well to fend them off. Guemez, who normally plays defensive midfield, showed no discomfort as a center back in Javier Gandolfi's usual position.
The second half was no different from the first -- Xolos pressured more often but Leones Negros showed their strength in forcing turnovers and being quick on the ball. Martinez was his usual quick and explosive self down the wings and even played centrally, scoring a 77th minute equalizer from the middle of the 18 yard box, sending the ball high into the net.
Dayro Moreno had no fewer than three clear chances to find the game winner but Humberto Hernandez denied his shots and at one point, Moreno lost his footing in front of goal, sliding forward and losing the ball. Alfredo Moreno, a late substitute, missed two chances as well late into the second half before the final whistle blew.
Xolos will have a one-week break before traveling to Pachuca in week eight, sitting on a 1-4-2 record.
Leones Negros will return home to make up a game against Chivas on Sept. 7, before playing host to Club America on Sept. 13. The draw today gives them a 1-2-3 record as they head into next week's clasico.