Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente advanced to the quarterfinals of the Copa MX after defeating Pumas UNAM 2-1 at the Caliente stadium Wednesday in the final game of the group stage. Xolos had a tough battle against the universitarios but held out to advance.
Paraguayan Pablo Cesar Aguilar and Raul Enriquez scored for the Aztec dogs, Alfonso Nieto scored for Pumas.
At hurricane speed Xolos have climbed to the top of the league. Last weekend Xolos finished week 8 in sole possession of first place, tonight they qualified to the quarterfinals of the Copa MX proving a team can provide players for two tournaments played simultaneously.
“I’m satisfied with the result,” Xolos coach Antonio Mohamed said after the game. “The players who’d not had the chance to play played well. And I’m happy that we reached our objective, which was to advance to the next round of the tournament.”
There was no real dominant team on the pitch in the first 45 minutes with both teams controlling the action for several minutes at a time. Xolos organized their attack from the back line. Pumas had a five man line defending.
The Aztec dogs earned more corners than their competitors but could not convert a goal. It was on a set piece that Xolos put the ball in the net. Fernando Arce centered to the area. Pumas tried the offside fake play allowing Aguilar to clear his marker. He took to the air and headed the ball past goalkeeper Bernabe Magaña for the 1-0.
After the goal the game returned to the midfield battle with Pumas taking control of the ball for moments but causing no real danger. Finally in the 33rd Pumas put a play together; a back pass, from a header to an unmarked Nieto, who on first touch hammered the ball past Zermeño. The goalkeeper dove with no real chance of stopping the rocket.
Xolos took control once more but could not get the ball in the net. The game went to the break with the 1-1.
Pumas showed a better game on the pitch in the second half keeping the ball away from Xolos. Despite controlling the ball, the visiting squad could not do anything to take advantage and spoil Xolos’ night.
Argentine Daniel Olsina missed on several occasions in front of goal for Xolos as the home team increased their attack. Mohamed brought in regular season player Joe Corona to increase recovery and attack in the midfield. The U.S. national team member did not disappoint, immediately making a difference for the team.
Xolos took the advantage in the 69th after Magaña blocked several shots. Enriquez recovered the ball after Magaña cleared it. He gently chipped it over a sliding defender and Magaña who was on the floor. The rojinegros took control of the scoreboard 2-1.
The goal took the wind out of Pumas’ sails. Xolos were on the hunt and continued to attack, forcing the visiting squad back on their side of the field. Pumas defended their net for the final minutes of the match keeping the game at 2-1.
Xolos will play Correcaminos UAT next Tuesday in the quarterfinal match.
The rest of the fixture:
Chiapas 1, Reales de San Luis FC 1
Queretaro FC 1, Club America 0
CF Pachuca 1, Atlante FC 0