TIJUANA - Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Chivas of Guadalajara on Friday night at the Estadio Caliente. Led by Argentine Dario Benedetto who had the opening goal and an assist the Xolos once again take all three points at home.
Both Xolos and Chivas came out with the intentions looking for the win. But it was the home side who was able to take control of the possession and subsequently the match.
Tijuana manager Cesar Farias was seen obligated to make several changes to his starting lineup. Edgar Castillo and Fidel Martinez were both sent to the bench because of their long midweek travels with their respective National Teams. Their places were occupied by Greg Garza and Jaimen Ayovi. Elio Castro was sent in for the suspended Cristian Pellerano. Castro partnered up with Gandolfi in central defense; while Hernan Pellerano played in the defensive midfield role his brother usually plays while at times dropping back to be the third central defender.
U.S. international Joe Corona was sent into the starting eleven in place of the injured Fernando Arce.
The one who took the responsibility of leading the Xolos attack was the Argentine Dario Benedetto. He would drop back from his central striker position to the midfield to get a hold of the ball, turn around, and dribble at defenders.
In the 10th minute Benedetto chased down a Joe Corona long pass and looked to chip the ball over the goalkeeper’s head. But his shot was just wide.
In the 23rd minute Bendetto received the ball about 20 yards out, he lifted his head and without thinking about it twice he unleashed a shot that left the Guadalajara keeper standing only able to look at the ball as it went into his goal almost kissing the post.
Following the goal Tijuana dedicated themselves to controlling the pace of the game. They made sure to nullify the Chivas attack; alway looking for Benedetto’s speed in the counterattack.
For the second half the visiting side came out a little more determined offensively looking for the equalizing goal. But they were just not capable of producing any real danger. They seemed to have really missed Omar Bravo who could not travel with the team due to injury.
In the 72nd minute Dario Benedetto beat out his defender in a one on one battle. He took the ball and faced off with the goalkeeper. The Argentine then laid off the ball to his striking partner Jaimen Ayovi who had the simplest of finishes to make his scoring debut for Tijuana and seal the 2-0 win for the Xolos.
Club Tijuana will now take this boost of confidence into the CONCACAF Champion’s League where on Wednesday they will travel to Los Angeles to face the LA Galaxy in the StubHub Center for the quarterfinals of the CCL.