Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente won with a controversial 1-0 against Cruz Azul at the Caliente Stadium during the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. The controversies were in favor of both teams coming from the central referee Francisco Chacon.
The referee was a key factor in the game annulling a goal in favor of Cruz Azul, then failing to mark a penalty in Tijuana’s favor. As if to vindicate his error against Tijuana, he called a penalty in favor on a dive from Dario Benedetto.
Xolos had their best opportunity in the 18th minute when Ecuadorian Fidel Martinez had a face-to-face with goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona. Martinez fired, but was denied by the keeper. The rebound landed in front of Fernando Arce who sent the ball into the stands missing Tijuana’s best clear chance to take the lead.
Cruz Azul broke the net in the 42nd minute with an act from Mauro Formica. The Argentine received the ball from outside the box. He controlled the ball and fired past Cirilo Saucedo to break the net. However, Chacon annulled the goal stating that Formica had dropped the ball with his arm.
In the 72nd minute Chacon made his second erroneous call by waving away a penalty in favor of Xolos when Martinez was taken down in the area. Five minutes later his poor officiating for the game was evident when he awarded a penalty to the Aztec dogs after Benedetto dove in the area.
Cristian Pellerano took the shot from the spot defeating Corona for the 1-0 in the home leg of the CONCACAF Champions League. The lone goal gives Xolos their first victory over la maquina cementera, team that has maintained dominance over Tijuana in the last six La Liga MX games. Xolos had lost three games at the Azul Stadium and had only managed three draws at the Caliente.
The return game is next Wednesday at the Azul Stadium. The winner of the two game series will advance to the final and compete for a chance to attend this year’s FIFA Clubs World Cup in Morocco next December.
Other semifinal game:
LD Alajuelense 0, Toluca FC 1