It wasn't a loss, but Xolos' road record continues to wane after Friday night's 0-0 draw at Estadio Morelos in Morelia. What Morelia thought was a goal by Duvier Riascos in the first half was whistled offside, and Cristian Pellerano missed a penalty in Xolos' chance to take the lead in the second.
Both teams had clear scoring opportunities around goal during the first half but failed to finish. Dario Benedetto skied corner kicks and missed his target no fewer than three times in the first half alone, while Carlos Adrian Morales missed a sitter of his own with a clear shot that went just wide of Xolos goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo.
Tijuana controlled the ball better in the first half and had majority of possession, playing balls down the middle from Pellerano up to Dayro Moreno and Benedetto. They came out strong and by the second minute were already attacking, with Moreno shooting a ball directly at goal but into the arms of Morelia 'keeper Carlos Rodriguez.
Riascos, a former Xolos striker who was with them when they won their 2012 title, finished a ball passed through to him from a quick play around the box before the linesman whistled his play offside.
Morelia tried to find Riascos several times but were unsuccessful, and failed to sufficiently deal with Xolos' set pieces. They were lucky that Xolos didn't finish theirs more so than their defense did a good enough job to dismantle any symmetry in the box when they were taken.
Perhaps the brightest spot for Xolos tonight was Saucedo, who came up with many critical saves throughout the game, including a free kick by Morales which looked to be going in when Saucedo leaped and slapped it away forcefully with both hands for the final play of the first half.
The second half was much of the same, only Xolos were handed an opportunity to take the lead when Morales was yellow carded for a tackle on Moreno in the box. The penalty was awarded in favor of Tijuana, but Pellerano skied his shot.
Benedetto was taken off shortly after the start of the second half with Henry Martin in his place. Martin has had a good showing for Tijuana with a recent goal and assist in two games in Copa MX. Tonight he was quick and had a couple of good opportunities which were stifled by Morelia's defense. His best and last chance came just before the 90th minute when he was within close range of goal but was unable to find the ball before Morelia's defense.
Joe Corona came in for Moreno with about five minutes left in regulation, but it wasn't enough time for the quick and versatile midfielder to make much of an impact. Israel Jimenez came close to scoring at the 90th minute mark when a ball from Arango was headed from close range, but was blocked inside the box.
More back and forth between the two continued into stoppage time, but neither team was able to find a goal. If a game could have a theme, this one would be missed chances from start to finish.
Xolos will head to Sandy, Utah to play Real Salt Lake of MLS on August 12, and will then return to Tijuana to host Chiapas on Friday night. Morelia will travel to Mexico City where they'll take on league leaders America on Saturday, August 16.