TIJUANA, BC.- With a lot of blood, sweat, intelligence and heart, Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente defeated 2-1 the Toluca Diablos Rojos, in front of thousands of fans who packed Estadio Caliente in the first leg of the Apertura 2012 tournament of the Liga MX finals.
This is how the game went:
In the 2nd minute of the game, Fidel Martinez took a free kick that barely grazed Duvier Riascos head, but the ball just landed on the goalie from Toluca's hands.
Now at the 8th minute, Martinez again had possession of the ball and a chance to score, due to a rebound from a shot that Alfredo "Chango" Moreno took, but Martinez feet were too weak and he couldn't take advantage of this opportunity.
Not even a minute later, Xolos forward Duvier Riascos took a shot from all the way outside of the area, but the ball again just ended up in the hand of Talavera; Toluca was still not responding to these offensive attacks.
As the game went on, there had not been any signs of life of Toluca up until Antonio Naelson "Sinha" took a free kick that Cirilo Saucedo was able to control easily.
The Argentinian Cristian Pellerano in the 23rd minute kicked a long pass almost from mid field to Fidel Martinez, who controlled the ball very well with his left quad just by the penalty kick mark, Martinez then kicked the ball crossing to his left and the ball went in and touched the back of the goalie net, which made fans go crazy at the "dog pound" stadium by putting the local squad 1-0 ahead on the scoreboard.
Toluca did not panic after this though, since in the very next play the defenders from Xolos were caught asleep, and allowed Luis Tejada to pass the ball to Lucas Silva, who was left almost alone to filter a pass to Edgar Benitez; the Paraguayan took advantage and kicked the ball very hard into the net. Goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo was not able to save the ball and the score was now level 1-1.
After this result the game now was almost in a standstill, where even the crowd was now quiet on the edge of their seats watching the players execute a very intelligent game.
At the 39th minute Carlos Rodriguez committed a foul against Riascos at around one third of the field almost next to the goalie box, where the Tijuana born Xolos player Fernando Arce took a free kick, and Joe Corona positioned himself in a great spot where he was able to direct the ball towards the goal, just right where Pablo Cesar Aguilar was closing in to put the ball in the net. Xolos lead 2-1 now.
The game came to the end of the first half after referee Roberto Garcia Orozco blew the whistle to send both teams to the locker rooms for a break.
Now in the beginning of the second half of the game, Edy Brambila came in to substitute Antonio Rios from Toluca since the team was looking to have a better attack at the front.
Despite some modifications that both teams made, moving around some players for strategic reasons, the game was still under the Aztec dogs' control, since they did not allow the player from Toluca, Sinha, to have much control of the ball either.
The game ended with Xolos winning 2-1, and there is only one more match left to play, which will be at 4p.m. (PST), televised in the U.S. through the Spanish channel Univision Deportes, and will be played in the state of Mexico at the Nemesio Diez stadium on Sunday December 2nd.
Translated by Omar Martínez / San Diego Red.