SAN DIEGO, CA.- Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuitles suffered a 1-0 defeat in Toluca in week 12 of the Liga MX. After two weeks off the Xolos returned to the site of their championship, but were unable to get a positive result.
It was a rocky start for the reigning Mexican league champions. Toluca took an early lead in the 7th minute of play after Wilson Tiago finished after a good combination play with Sinha.
Three minutes later Xolos' Fidel Martinez would see a direct red card from center referee Jorge Isaac Rojas. Martinez was dribbling the ball down the left side when Toluca's Diego Novarretti made a sliding challenge. Martinez managed to push the ball beyond the challenge, but ended up stepping on Novaretti's leg. The referee considered this an aggression and sent Martinez off in the 10th minute.
The bumps in the road would not end there for Tijuana. In the 25th minute Xolos lost their center striker Alfredo Moreno to injury and Richard Ruiz had to come in for him.
The rest of the first half became a rough midfield battle that no team was able to win. Neither goalkeeper had much to do since the ball got stuck in midfield.
For the second half Xolos came out determined to find that equalizer in spitemofmhaving one less player. Toluca on the other hand were content to draw back their players and defend the one goal lead.
The equalizer was close in the 48th minute when Joshua Abregro had a clear header all by himself. But his header went straight to the middle of the goal were the Toluca goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera was standing.
In the 55th Talavera came off his line to punch the ball after an Arce cross. The ball fell to Cristian Pellerano who tried to chip the goalkeeper, his shot ended up hitting the crossbar. Duvier Riascos was near the rebound and tried a bicycle kick but was unable to make proper contact.
In the 71st minute Fernando Arce was close to scoring directly from a corner kick, but Alfredo Talavera was aware of the danger and managed to punch to ball out.
In spite of having one less man Club Tijuana had the most chances in the second half and controlled most of the possession. Toluca just sat back and managed to hold on to the one goal lead to earn themselves their second victory at home this season.
Next up for the Xoloitzcuitles is a trip to Bolivia were on Wednesday they'll face San Jose in match day 5 of the Copa Libertadores. Xolos could seal their ticket to the next face of the Libertadores with a win over the Bolivian side.