With 9 points up for grabs in what is left of the Apertura 2013, Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente are set to take on Tigres UANL at home on Friday in week 15 action of La Liga MX. An advantage for the Aztec dogs is that they will play their next two games at home before ending the regular season at Leon FC. Only four points separate Xolos from a playoff position.
“It’s like a final,” Team Captain Javier Gandolfi said after a practice this week. “We cannot put our hands down. We know what is coming up is a final and we must win it to have playoff hopes. We’re going to give our all to reach our objective.”
Xolos have had an up and down season as they participated in the group stage of the CONCACAF Champion’s League and the domestic league. They reached the objective of qualifying for the regional quarterfinals. Now their attention is on the Liga MX.
“If we do our job right, and we get into the next three games (Tigres, Atlante FC and Leon FC), we have the possibility of reaching the playoffs,” Gandolfi continued. “We have to take it game by game. The upcoming game against Tigres is important. We have no margin of error. We’re working hard to get the best result.”
Xolos coach Jorge Almiron led the final practice Thursday before Friday’s game at the Estadio Caliente. Like Gandolfi he also states that the upcoming games are crucial if they want to reach the playoffs.
“We play a leading role at home and we want to win,” Almiron said after Thursday’s practice. “We’re going to pressure from the start until we get the result we want. This team is used to taking on these types of decisive games, there is confidence there. We’re ready and we know that tomorrow is like a final.”
The teams have faced each other on four occasions. The first was a 1-1 draw during the Apertura 2011, Xolos’ first season in top flight. The “Regios” won the next game, with Xolos taking the Apertura 2012 match. Their last meeting was a draw during the Clausura 2013. At the Caliente stadium Xolos have defeated Tigres and drawn a game.