In less than two minutes of play Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente secured their spot in the groups stage of the Copa Libertadores de America next year with a 2-0 victory over Chivas de Guadalajara at the Omnilife stadium to close week 17 action of La Liga MX. Xolos end the Apertura 2012 season in second place and will also compete in the playoffs.
It seemed the sound of the whistle hadn’t finished when Xolos were celebrating their 1-0 lead over Chivas rayadas. Argentine Alfredo Moreno received a pass from a defender at the half moon. He volleyed the ball over goalkeeper Luis Michel who was ahead of his line. Michel jumped but the ball was too high for him to touch. Xolos led 1-0 in 11 seconds.
Before Chivas could react to the goal Xolos were celebrating once more. A defensive error gave Xolos the ball. Moreno cleared his marker and crossed to Colombian Duvier Riascos who fired to an open net. Defender Hector Reynoso slid but could not change the trajectory of the ball as it went into the net for the 2-0.
Chivas could not control their own pitch, giving up the ball on several occasions that could have cost them the third goal. Xolos kept the home team on their heels in the first half constantly attacking.
The second half had Chivas taking over the pitch. In the first 10 minutes they did not let Xolos touch the ball as they put their Dutch-style of play in motion. However, they could not get past the Tijuana defense.
Riascos had two more opportunities to increase the lead. In the 60th he received a ball in front of goal with Michel beaten. However, he sent it over the crossbar.
A few minutes later on a counterstrike, Riascos once again had an opportunity. He beat his marker and took a high bounce ball and headed. However, Michel was in position to tap the ball away saving his net.
Finally Chivas were able to get a few shots in from Marco Fabian. The Olympic gold medalist with Mexico in London 2012 began to fire from outside the area. While they were not enough to get past Xolos goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo, they did excite the Guadalajara faithful.
Chivas was better organized, but could not get through. The win puts Xolos in the groups stage of the Copa Libertadores. Guadalajara on the other hand drops to eighth on the league table but still made the playoffs.
Playoff games set:
Toluca FC (1) vs. Chivas de Guadalajara (8)
Club Tijuana (2) vs. CF Monterrey (7)
Club Leon (3) vs. Cruz Azul (6)
Club America (4) vs. Monarcas Morelia (5)
Toluca FC (Mexico 1) Groups Stage
Club Tijuana (Mexico 2) Groups Stage
Club Leon (Mexico 3) Home and Away Playoff