TIJUANA - Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente won the league championship in December of 2012. They then went the entire 2013 year without making a playoff appearance. But in the first semester of 2014 the Xolos are once again back in the final eight fighting for another league title.
The Xoloitzcuintles went into last Friday nights game against the reigning champions Leon with the knowledge that a win or a draw would guarantee their liguilla ticket. And that a loss at home would put in jeopardy their qualification and leave them at the mercy of other results.
The 1-2 loss to Leon did leave Xolos vulnerable of being left out. Following the loss Xolos needed to avoid two of the following three in order to stay in the top eight:
- Atlas win over Tigres in Monterrey
- Morelia win over Puebla in Puebla.
- Chivas win by four or more against Monterrey in Guadalajara
Luck was definitely on the side of Tijuana. The Xolos received plenty of help from other northern teams as both Tigres UANL and Monterrey picked up wins over Atlas and Chivas respectfully. Morelia also stumbled in Puebla.
Chronologically, the Atlas 2-1 loss to Tigres on Saturday evening was a huge help for Xolos and the Morelia 3-1 loss on Sunday morning ended up clinching the playoff spot for Tijuana. By the time Chivas kicked off the Xoloitzcuintles were already qualified, all that remained to be seen was if Xolos would finish in 7th place to face Toluca or in 8th to fac Cruz Azul. Had Chivas won by four goals or more, Xolos would have dropped to the final playoff spot and went up against Cruz Azul in the quarterfinals. But since Chivas lost, Tijuana stayed in 7th place and will now face Toluca.
Playoff schedule set:
In the quarterfinals Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles will be facing off against second seed Toluca in a repeat of the Apertura 2012 championship final. Just like in 2012 the frst leg of the series will be hosted at the Estadio Calinete (Thursday May 1st - 8:00pm local Tijuana time) and the series will conclude in Tolucas Nemezio Diez Stadium.
Here is a complete schedule of the Clausura 2014 quarterfinals.
Quarterfinals first leg:
Club America vs Santos - Wednesday April 30th - 8pm (6pm pacific)
Leon vs Cruz Azul - Wednesday April 30th - 10pm (8pm pacific)
Pachuca vs Pumas UNAM - Thursday May 1st - 8pm (6pm pacific)
Tijuana Xolos vs Toluca - Thursday May 1st - 10pm (8pm pacific)
Quarterfinals second leg:
Cruz Azul vs Leon - Saturday May 3rd - 7pm (5pm pacific)
Santos vs America - Saturday May 3rd - 9pm (7pm pacific)
Toluca vs Tijuana Xolos - Sunday May 4th - 12pm (10am pacific)
Pumas UNAM vs Pachuca - Sunday May 4th - 5pm (3pm pacific)
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