Tijuana Xolos defeated Monarcas Morelia 2-0 on Sunday evening at Estadio Caliente. The two goal win gave the Xolos the 2-1 aggregate win in the Liga MX quarterfinals series against Morelia and the ticket into the semifinals. Xolos came into the match down 1-0 to Morelia from the first leg but Henry Martin and second half sub Juan Martin Lucero scored for the Xolos to send the league leaders into the final four.
Martin found a loose ball inside of the box after a corner kick cross swung in from the left. He was the quickest to react and get his feet to the ball to send it into the back of the net. The 1-0 scoreline was exactly what Xolos needed to advance to the semifinals with a 1-1 aggregate scoreline. All Tijuana needed to avoid was Morelia scoring an away-goal because that would have forced Xolos to need to find a second and a third in order to advance.
Morelia tried to push forward for that goal but got caught on the counter attack. Aviles Hurtado dribbled down the right wing and looked to be fouled but the ball fell to Lucero who shot the ball into the lower corner of the goal to give Xolos the 2-0 lead. The goal did not change the scenario for Morelia, they just needed the one away-goal (and avoid a Xolos third) in order to advance.
Xolos hanged onto the lead and advance to the semifinals of Liga MX for the second time in club history. The only other time Tijuana Xolos has made it to a semifinal round was back in the 2012 Apertura season when they went on to win the league title.
Club Tijuana will now be facing reigning Liga MX champions Tigres UANL in the semifinal round. The semifinal round matchup against Tigres comes with the added benefit for Tijuana Xolos that with it comes a CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) ticket.
The two finalist from each season (Apertura / Clausura) all get CCL tickets. Tigres UANL and Club America already have their CCL tickets for making the 2016 Apertura league final. If Xolos eliminates Tigres and advances to the 2017 Clausura final they will have one of the CCL tickets. If Tigres surpasses Xolos and makes it to consecutive Liga MX finals then the CCL ticket would go to the league leaders.
Tijuana Xolos were the league leaders for both the 2016 Apertura and 2017 Clausura seasons. So if they get eliminated by Tigres they would still get that CCL ticket either way.
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Posted by The Jonny Rico Page on Monday, May 15, 2017