It was like having a scrimmage in the neighborhood with a dominant home side doing as they pleased on the pitch. Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente easily rolled over Toluca FC 3-1 at the Caliente Stadium in week 14 action of the Clausura 2014 of La Liga MX.
“Today we praise the guys, but perhaps we deserved more,” Xolos Coach Cesar Farias said after the game. “It’s how they played, how they took their stance, they created chances. Today they deserved to win.”
A dominant Xolos team was the sole proprietor of the pitch in Tijuana doing as they pleased against a Toluca side that had a difficult time getting past the midfield. The dogs were precise with their passing pushing the Red Devils onto their side of the pitch. With action from Dario Benedetto and Fidel Martinez, the rojinegros were a constant danger to Alfredo Talavera's net. It was a matter of time before the home side broke through the defense.
In the 27th minute of play Martinez and Benedetto combined for the first goal of the game. Martinez centered to the Argentine who elevated past the defender and headed the Ecuadorian's pass to find Talavera's far corner. The keeper dove and hit the ball, but into the post. The ball ricocheted into the net for the 1-0.
The lead did not last long as Xolos goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo committed a major error. On a long distance shot from Jorge Sartiaguin that went straight to the keeper, Saucedo mishandled the ball and it bounced into his net for the equalizer. The fans turned on Saucedo for the play, but the team remained unified with their keeper.
“The fans quickly forget what Cirilo has done for us, the points he’s helped us earn,” Fernando Arce said. “We shouldn’t be judged by one action. Bad from the fans. If we want the greatest fans in Mexico, in good and bad times we have to support the players.”
Despite the goal, Xolos continued to dominate the game keeping pressure on the chorizeros. The first half came to a close with the game tied at 1-1.
The second half was still under Aztec dog rule with Martinez giving the first warning in the first 30 seconds. Toluca had a counter run, but Tijuana took over the filed once more.
The go-ahead came at the 56th minute when Javier Güemez recovered a loose ball that landed at his feet. Güemez fired a first touch shot from outside the area to beat Talavera who dove but to no avail, Xolos had retaken the lead 2-1.
Despite the lead the home side did not ease up and continued to fire away at the Red Devils' net. Benedetto chipped a ball from outside the area with Talavera too far off his line. Luckily for Toluca the ball hit the post. Tijuana continued to knock on the chorizeros’ door.
Less than a minute later Joe Corona was taken down inside the area as he was breaking away. The referee pointed at the spot giving Tijuana the opportunity to increase their lead. Cristian Pellerano took hold of the ball and placed it on the spot to take the shot. The Argentine fired to Talavera's left easily finding the top far corner to beat the keeper for the 3-1. Toluca never recovered from the goal as Tijuana continued to control the sphere.
The game came to a close with Xolos taking the win. To date, Toluca has yet to beat Tijuana in four games at the Caliente. The Red Devils remain in the second position on the league table, Tijuana climbs to 6th and is now in a playoff position. Tihe Aztec dogs hit the pitch with an alternate uniform, a tribute to the Mexican national team by their jersey sponsor.