Xolo Pass

Tijuana Xolos 3-1 Puebla: Strong home form feeds playoff hopes

Tijuana Xolos get the job done at the Caliente and beat Puebla

Tijuana Xolos 3-1 Puebla: Strong home form feeds playoff hopesPhoto: Club Tijuana
Photo: Club Tijuana

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TIJUANA - Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente defeated Puebla FC 3-1 on Friday night at the Esatdio Caliente in week 12 action of the Clausura 2014 season of the LIGA Bancomer MX. With goals from Dario Benedetto and Fidel Martinez, the Tijuana fans were treated to the second consecutive win in less than a week at the Caliente.

The Xolos came out flying once again, in 30 seconds the team's highest goal scorer Cristian Pellerano ran into the box and received a through ball and faced off against the goalkeeper. The Puebla shot-stopper cut off the shot angle and blocked the shot.

After two consecutive corner kicks, Fidel Martinez sent in a cross that Dario Benedetto was able to head into the back of the net to open up the scoring in the second minute.

With the lead the home side was able to take the game with calm and force Puebla to come out and chase the game. The visitors tried to push forward, but were left vulnerable in the back to the fast counterattacks from Fidel Martinez and Dario Benedetto.

Jaimen Ayovi dropped to the middle of the field as Bendetto and Martinez broke off in fast runs down the sides. Ayovi was able to play a first time pass to Fidel who's touch was a bit heavy and lost the opportunity as the goalkeeper came off his line to gather the ball.

The first 45 minutes ended with the Xoloitzcuintles managing the possession of the ball up and down the field while keeping it away from the visiting Puebla.

In the second half Xolos manager Cesar Farias took off central defender Elio Castro sent in midfielder Javier Guemez; implementing for the first time a 4-3-3 formation. It took the team a little over 15 minutes to adjust to the new look, but they started creating much more dangerous plays.

In the 63rd minute Dario Benedetto who had been placed in the wide right forward position sent in a low cross to Crisitan Pellerano who could not put the ball in the back of the net.

Three minutes later in the 66th minute Edgar Castillo pushed up the field and sent a low cross to Fidel Martinez who was able to place his first time shot into the far lower corner to double the score.

Two minutes after the goal Dario Benedetto sent a cutting pass from the middle to meet the run of Richard Ruiz. The Tijuana winger was left all alone against the goalkeeper, but his shot went just wide.

In the 83rd minute Maicon Dos Santos got one back for the visitors after USMNT player Damarcus Beasley was able to dribble around Juan Carlos Nuñez and sent in the cross.

As the game entered the final minutes the visitors were desperate to find the equalizing goal. The desperation got the better of them and the hard challenges started flying in. In the 89th minute Francisco Torres was shown a direct red card for his hard sliding tackle on former Santos and Club America teammate Edgar Castillo. The challenged produced a bit of a fight between the two teams. Herculez Gomez and Jesus Chavez (Puebla) were shown yellow cards.

In compensation time Fernando Arce was able to seal the victory with a superb chip of the keeper as he dribbled down the middle of the field. He noticed the goalkeeper out of his line and sent his shot over his head.

Next up for Club TIjuana is a trip to Queretaro where they'll want to continue their winning streak and put an end to the over a year without a win on the road.

Find all Tijuana Xolos news in English here.

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jonny.rico@sandiegored.com (Follow Jonny Rico on Facebook and Twitter)

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