TIJUANA - Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente finish their quarterfinal first leg match at the Estadio Caliente against Toluca in a 0-0 draw. Xolos dominated the entire match but could not find their finishing touch to get a goal, but they did manage to keep Toluca from scoring an away goal.
The better part of the first half was completely dominated by the Xoloitzcuintles who could not find a way to capitalize on their dominance over the visitors. Throughout the first 45 minutes the home side had at least three clear goal scoring opportunities.
In the third minute Fidel Martinez pressured the Toluca defender and won the ball back in a dangerous position. He served it up to Dario Benedetto to be one-on-one against the Toluca goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera. The Argentine striker tried to chip the ball over the charging keeper, but sent it over the cross bar.
In the 12th minute after some quality build up Richard Ruiz entered the box getting by one defender and placing a low shot that Talavera was able to get a hand on. The ball kept rolling towards the goal, but Talavera was able to get up and slap the ball away.
Again in the 23rd minute Toluca gave up possession in a bad place as Cristian Pellerano stole the ball away and conducted the counterattack. He fed the ball to his left to where Fidel Martinez came running in and had a first time shot that went just wide of the goal.
By the 35th minute Toluca had managed to get a hold of the ball and ease the pressure of the host. They didn’t create any danger on Cirilo Saucedo’s goal, but they were able to catch their breath defensively; and take the game to the halftime break scoreless.
For the second half Club Tijuana came out with the same attacking intensity. But with the same misfire at the time of finishing off chances. In the 54th minute Richard Ruiz was set up by Benedetto and fired a rocket of a shot straight to where Talavera was standing.
In the 70th minute it was once again Benedetto finding his teammates; this time he left the ball bouncing for Edgar Castillo who fired a shot looking for the far post or and leg that would deflect the ball into the goal. The ball rolled just wide of the frame.
Club Tijuana would battle and battle but the ball just wouldn’t go into the goal. Now they’ll head to Toluca where on Sunday they’ll play the second leg of the series. Xolos will be forced to score a goal there since the 0-0 would give Toluca the pass to semifinals; on the positive side any draw with goals would give the Xoloitzcuintles the semifinal berth.