MEXICO CITY - Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles suffered a 2-0 loss in the Mexican capital to Cruz Azul in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) semifinals; 2-1 aggregate score in favor of Cruz Azul.
Tijuana Xolos came into the game with the one goal advantage they had gotten from their 1-0 win in the first leg of this series in the Estadio Caliente. Cruz Azul knew that they needed to find a goal in order to prolong the game into overtime and eventually penalties; and two goals in order to advance.
The hosts found the perfect start as in the second minute of the game they were already up 1-0 over Tijuana. Gerardo Flores sent
cross in from the right side of the field. The ball bounced off of Xolos midfielder Javier Güemez and went into the back of the net.
With the aggregate score all tied up the game turned into an intense midfield battle with a lot of fouls from both sides. American midfielder Joe Corona nearly equalized the game in the 28th minute, but Cruz Azul central defender Julio Cesar Dominguez denied him the goal.
Once again the home side found a perfect start to the half. In the 50th minute minute Rogelio Chavez sent in a cross the Tijuana box where the Tijuana defense was able to get their head on the ball, but did not manage to clear the ball far enough from danger. Julio Cesar Dominguez was able to bring down the ball around the penalty mark and shot the ball past Cirilo Saucedo
Argentine striker Dario Benedetto was always the most dangerous attacking option for the visiting side who were now in need of a goal in order to avoid elimination. Benedetto took a long distance shot as he conduced the ball in a counter attack. The shot forced Cruz Azul goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo to come up with a spectacular diving save in order to keep his side in the lead.
With this Tijuana Xolos will now only have the remaining three Liga MX league games to foucus on in their hopes of making the playoffs. The league leaders will now face Liga MX second place Toluca in a two-legged championship series.
Find all Tijuana Xolos news in English here.
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