Securing a spot into the second round of the Copa Bridgestone Libertadores allowed Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente to play with their best players Saturday night. In fact, it was the perfect chance to earn a win in the Liga MX since the Xolos have not won a league game since February.
Even though Tijuana's team put on a show to earn that needed victory, Club Santos Laguna Club Santos protected their net and the final score was a draw, with zero goals scored from either side.
Midfielder Fernando Arce was a constant threat and nearly scored a goal for Xolos but was not able to best Laguna's goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez net.
During the first half Arce appeared to be the best player in the field as he took shot after shot, but each time either the defense deflected his blast, Sanchez made a stop, or the ball just miss going inside the goal by a bit.
In the second half forward Duvier Riascos had a few opportunities to change the score but instead lost the ball or simply missed his chance, particularly in a one on one against Sanchez.
Conscious that any loss might eliminate his team's chances to defend their title in the liguilla Xolos coach Antonio Mohamed said that he trusted his team and they will make an effort to qualify.
"Wednesday against Millonarios we are sending an alternate team," Mohamed said."We are going to play with our best against Cruz Azul and Morelia, in our upcoming matches, so we can make the points needed to qualify, but if we do not qualify it was not meant to be."
He also said that his team is happy to have qualified to the second round of the Libertadores and that since the beginning of the season the objective was that international tournament and now they accomplished their goal.
"We already achieve the hardest goal," he said. "We are the campions, and the only Mexican team that remains alive in the Copa Libertadores."
Xolos goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo said his team had two or three clear chances of scoring but that unfortunately the ball did not want to go into the rivals' goal.
"If we keep playing like this we will secure a place in the playoffs," said Saucedo. "We already qualified to the second round of the Libertadores, now it is time to celebrate but we also need to fight in the local tournament."