Xolos hold on to win against Club America

Pellerano’s goal and missed penalty kick by Las Aguilas leads to Tijuana victory

Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles held on to beat Club America 1-0 Saturday at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

The Xolos outlasted the previously unbeaten Aguilas, escaping with the win and three more points in the standings. Tijuana nearly saw its lead disappear when Club America, one of Mexico’s more popular and richest teams who finished the math shorthanded, had a clear opportunity to tie the game, a Week 5 match up of the 2012 Apertura tournament.

Tijuana was whistled for a foul in the penalty box, giving Club America a penalty kick in injury time of the second half. Juan Nunez was whistled for a foul over a Club America player.

Christian Benitez lined up to take the penalty kick. The Club America striker took the PK but sent the ball flying high over Tijuana’s crossbar.

The Xolos (4-1-1) were safe. Tijuana was on its way to its second-straight win after beating Tigres UANL last week at home.

Midfielder Christian Pellerano scored for the Xolos in the 41st minute with a right-footed blast from about 30 yards out. Pellerano, an offseason acquisition, took a Juan Nunez pass, brought it down with his right foot then immediately sent the shot on his next touch, bending the ball past Club America goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez. Pellerano’s shot curved into the top-right corner of the net.

Nunez set up the play when he flicked a pass to a charging Pellerano.

Alfredo Moreno nearly scored for the Xolos when he sent a right-footed blast from just outside the penalty area ricocheting off the crossbar. Tijuana didn’t need to score again.

With the win against Club America (2-1-3) the Xolos moved into second place in the overall standings with 13 points. Toluca leads the standings with 16 points. Club America moved to fifth place after coming in as the No. 4 team in the standings.

Tijuana possessed the ball for most of the second half against America who finished the match with 10 men after Paul Aguilar was shown a second yellow card for diving in the penalty area.

The Xolos can also thank its goalkeeper for keeping the shutout.

Cirilo Saucedo made a handful of spectacular saves late in the match. He slapped away a Benitez header in the 83rd minute for the save. Club America continued to try and equalize the match to no avail.

The Xolos will stay in Mexico City as it prepares to visit Pumas UNAM for a Copa MX match up Tuesday night. Tijuana will then return home to host Jaguares at Estadio Caliente Friday.



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