Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente defeated current FIFA Clubs World Cup champion SC Corinthians of Brazil 1-0 at the Caliente stadium on Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2013 to end the first half of the group stage with 9 points after three games. The Aztec dogs are making a big splash in the oldest competition in the Western Hemisphere and have yet to give up a goal.
Argentine Javier Gandolfi was the man who scored, but the game was won as a team, as Xolos never gave the Brazilian squad breathing room to make a comfortable play.
“We played against a great rival. We had to be intense on the entire field,” Gandolfi told Fox Deportes after the match. “We reached our goal. We resolved the game like we had planned, with a set piece. We practiced that all week.”
Xolos began the game looking to take control of the scoreboard. Within the first minute Ecuadorian Fidel Martinez came close to putting the ball in the net. Martinez was the last of three players to receive the ball in the area. However, the goalkeeper was there to stop the ball from entering his net.
Seconds later Martinez was at it again. This time “Tijuana’s Neymar” took the ball into the area alone. Again, Cassio was on mark and sent the ball out stopping the Aztec dogs from breaking his net.
In the 25th minute Colombian Duvier Riascos had the best shot in the first 45 minutes. He took the ball along the bottom of the field and after clearing his marker fired. The shot went over the crossbar. Tijuana applied more pressure on the Brazilians, but after 45 minutes the game went to the break with the scoreless draw.
Corinthians began the second half applying pressure on the home side. The Almighty looked in all areas trying to break through the Xolos defense. The Mexicans held their ground and turned the tables on the Brazilians. In the 60th minute Christian Pellerano fired a long shot from outside the area forcing Cassio to dive and give up a corner kick.
From that point on Xolos took control of the field. The rojinegros won a free kick to set up the goal in the 65th minute. Fernando Arce took the free kick. Alfredo Moreno was on mark and headed the ball back to Gandolfi. The team captain recovered a ball that looked like it had hit a Corinthians player’s hand in the area. However, Gandolfi did not wait for the call and tapped the ball with his heel into the net for the 1-0 lead.
The visitors tried to gain their footing, but the Xolos players were on top of their opponents frustrating their attempts to close the gap. It looked like Xolos Coach Antonio Mohamed told his players to defend the goal since they were marking the Timao players without giving them breathing room.
The FIFA Clubs World Champions had a good opportunity in the 73rd minute on a long shot that goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo could not control. The keeper ran to clear the ball and kept Renato Augusto from recovering the rebound.
Riascos remained as the lone pointer as Tijuana moved back to defend with minutes left. Riascos was constantly forcing the Corinthians players to run, as every time he took control of the ball he was a danger to Cassio.
With two minutes left in the game even Riascos fell back to the Xolos side of the field to help Saucedo defend the net. Corinthians applied pressure but Xolos kept the ball away from their net. The Aztec dogs were barking and barking loud, sending a statement to the soccer world. After 90 minutes of play Club Tijuana defeated Corinthians 1-0. Xoloitzcuintles must travel to Brazil in their next game.