VERACRUZ - Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente once again let go of an opportunity to win on the road and finished their week nine match in Veracruz with a 1-1 draw.
Tijuana Xolos led most of the match since midfielder Cristian Pellerano scored in the 5th minute to give the visitors the early lead. But Pellerano would go from hero to villain in the 80th minute by seeing his second yellow card of the match and being sent off.
One play after Pellerano's ejection, his brother's mistake led to what would be the equalizing goal for Veracruz.
Club Tijuana started the match off positively and grabbed a quick lead through their leading goal scorer Cristian Pellerano who reaches five goals in the season. Pellerano took advatage of a series of rebounds inside of the box following a corner kick. His initial shot was blocked by the defense. Hi follow-up shot deflected off of the same defender and found its way into the back of the net.
Do to the tremendous pressure of the relegation race and the fact that both Atlante and Atlas picked up wins the night before, Veracurz found themselves having to push forward with everything they had. A loss for the home side would have meant that they would fall to the bottom of the percentage table.
The Xoloitzcuintles looked to take advantage of the Veracruz desperation through counterattacks, but eventually just foucused on defending the loads of pressure from the home side.
In the 20th minute Tijuana suffered a costly injury as they lost one of their team leaders; Fernando Arce. Arce had to be subbed out with a shoulder injury half way through the first half and American midfielder Joe Corona stepped in his place.
As the game wore on Veracruz kept pilling on the pressure in search of the equalizing goal, while Tijuana looked to just survive the match and see out the one goal lead to kill off the more than a year streak of not winning on the road.
In a matter of minutes all of Tijuana's plans went up in smoke. Goal scorer Cristian Pellerano came in with a rash sliding tackle and was shown his second yellow card of the match and sent to the showers early. On the subsequent play the Xolos defense tried to push up to play the offside trap, but Pellerano's younger brother did not push up on time and allowed Liber Quiñonez to control and shoot right in front of goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo to tie the game.
Hernan Pellerano seemed to have made up for his mistake by scoring what would have been a winning goal for Xolos, but the offside flag went up and the goal was dissallowed. The fustration from this ended up costing manager Cesar Farias his first ejection in Mexican soccer.
Club Tijuana now returns to the border where next Friday they will face Chivas of Guadalajara with out their leading goal scorer; Cristian Pellerano or manager Cesar Farias.