TIJUANA - Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles got an important three points in their hopes of making this season's playoffs with a 1-0 win over Queretaro at home at the Estadio Calinete. The lone goal came through Fidel Martinez and it helped settle the nerves of many Tijuana fans who for the first time "booed" the team.
The first half was very tight and disputed. Neither team was able to establish any dominance over the other.
The Xolos had their best chances through the many fouls the visiting Queretaro were giving away. But the Tijuana set pieces are no longer what they use to be and the chances were not taken advantage of.
Queretaro had their best and only chance of the first half in a counter attack; but a miss played pass by Wilberto Cosme ended the play.
Club Tijuana manager Jorge Almiron was feeling the pressure and wanted the won at any cost. His substitutions reflected that. He did not wait for halftime and in the 40th minute he took off left back Greg Garza to bring in a forward; Emmanuel Cerda. He also took off winger Richard Ruiz to bring in young forward Paul Arriola as well as bringing in veteran striker Herculez Gomez for Raul Enriquez all before the 65th minute.
The home side got their reward for their offensive mindset in the 75th minute through new Ecuadorian National Team member Fidel Martinez. But the genius of the play was Paul Arriola who in the right wing instead of sending in the typical and predictable cross, had the vision to send in a backwards cross to a wide open Fernando Arce. Arce's shot would be blocked and Martinez was there to tap in the rebound.
Xolos were able to manage the ball and the time to seal the win. While they no longer pushed forward with everything they had, they played very far away from Cirilo Saucedo's goal making an equalizing goal from Queretaro very unlikely.
With the win Tijuana remains hopeful of making the playoffs, but will have one of their most difficult test next weekend when they visit the dangerous Toluca. Xolos so far this season have racked up five losses and one draw when playing on the road and will need a much better performance in the field that saw them lift a championship trophy.
Tijuana Xolos- Cirilo Saucedo, Juan Carlos Nuñez, Alfredo Gonzalez-Tahuilan, Pablo Aguilar, Greg Garza (Emmanuel Cerda min. 40), Cristian Pellerano, Fernando Arce, Edgar Castillo, Richard Ruiz (Paul Arriola min. 55), Fidel Martinez, Raul Enriquez (Herculez Gomez min. 63)
Queretaro- Edgar Hernandez, George Corral, Mario Osuna, Yasser Corona, Dionicio Escalante, Diego de la Torre, Luis Perez (Julio Nava min 71), Jaime Gomez (Luis Loroña min. 77), Gerardo Espinosa, Wilberto Cosme (Isaac Romo min. 84), Esteban Paredes