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It’s just getting worse and worse for Club Tijuana.
They are in dead last in the Liga MX table, their manager was fired last month, and since then, Sebastian Mendez as the latest coaching hire has yet to convince.
Tijuana’s project is a faltering one, and were it not for the temporary removal of promotion/relegation in Liga MX, they would easily be a candidate for relegation.
In theory, Tijuana could have redemption against a team like Pumas that sit just one spot ahead of them in the league table.
That said, Pumas seem to be going through a late revival in the 2021 Apertura season.
Pumas for the win (+115)
Long gone are the days when Tijuana were a title-contending side in Liga MX.
Ever since former manager Miguel “Piojo” Herrera left the Bordertown club, there have been very few positives from the young organization.
Outside of the occasional result at home in the Estadio Caliente, Tijuana have rarely been much of a threat when needing to travel away from Baja California.
That’s no different this season.
No Liga MX clubs in the Apertura have collected fewer points than Tijuana away from home.
And even at the Estadio Caliente, they’ve been abysmal with only one win in their six at the Estadio Caliente.
So what’s the problem? Is it their style of play? Their managers?
All of these are factors, but perhaps the biggest reason why they’ve struggled and why they’ll continue to have problems is due to a tendency to switch through rosters at a fast pace.
At the end of each and every season, it’s nearly always expected to see higher ups from Tijuana drop a significant amount of players and bring in a long list of new faces.
Keeping in mind that Liga MX seasons are half a year long, this means that the turnover process happens every six months.
Coupled with a fickle nature towards managers who usually get a little under a year to make their mark, and you get a process that’s constantly stunted.
They’ve been able to hide this through individual efforts and playoff appearances in the past, but now, we’ve seen the result of what happens when there’s no real continuity.
Dead last, nine points, and just one win in 14 games.
Due to a structure that gives up to 12 playoff sports for Liga MX’s 18 teams, Pumas still have a chance for a postseason invitation.
Depending on how results go, they may even find themselves in a playoff position by the end of Week 15.
So what has changed in their last-minute sprint towards the top 12?
Ultimately, it has been crucial moments within the final stages of recent games.
In a friendly on October 8th, a 2nd half goal was enough for a 1-0 win against Club America. On the 17th, a goal in the 95th minute pushed them to a 1-0 victory against Juarez.
Then on the 20th earlier this week, Marco Garcia’s effort in the 88th proved to be a game-winner in their 2-1 result against Leon.
There’s a noticeable amount of energy in these 2nd half runs that now feature plenty of drive-through dramatic finishes.
In the attack, a certain striker has also been on a steady and improved path.
Striker Juan Dinenno is starting to look like his old self.
In his last seven Liga MX appearances for Pumas, the Argentine has collected four goals and one assist.
Up against Leon earlier this week, he also had what was arguably his best performance of the season.
Through a proactive 90 minutes that had him fighting for the ball and connecting key passes, Dinenno earned a goal and assist in Pumas’ 2-1 win.
Now looking ahead towards a much weaker opponent, Dinenno should be set for another game-changing influence.
|Pumas vs Club Tijuana Information|
|Teams||Pumas vs Club Tijuana|
|Location||Estadio Olimpico Universitario (Mexico City, Mexico)|
|Time||Sunday, October 24th at 10:00am PT/1:00pm PT|
|How to Watch||Univision, TUDN|
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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