Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuitles had not suffered a defeat in Estadio Caliente since May 2, 2012. Last night Mexico City’s Club America put an end to that streak, handing the home team a 2-1 defeat.
“It hurts just like any other loss hurts,” Tijuana manger Antonio Mohammed said after the game, downplaying the end of a 13-game undefeated streak.
Xolos started off the game imposing their style, dominating possession in the midfield and waiting to unleash a long pass to forwards Duvier Riascos, Fidel Martinez or Raul Enriquez.
In the 10th minute America's Christian Benitez and Raul Jimenez combined in a give and go play, which ended with Xolos' Fernando Arce fouling Benitez inside the penalty. Paraguayan Osvaldo Martinez then converted the insuring penalty kick to give Club America the early 1-0 lead.
Raul Enriquez said Xolos have no reason to feel ashamed “We lost playing our same style. We can leave with our head held high”.
Center referee Miguel Angel Flores stole the spotlight away from the players. In the span of four minutes, from minute 18 to minute 22 Flores issued four yellow cards to the Club America players. In which a second yellow card to midfielder Rubens Sambueza was included. Flores had shown Sambueza his first yellow card 30 seconds into the game after a foul in midfield. For his second infraction Sambueza was ejected from the match and America was forced to play with only 10 players.
Eighteen minutes later at minute 40 , Flores would show the Club America captain Aquivaldo Mosquera his second yellow card after a foul in midfield, forcing him to eject Mosquera as well. Mosquera had received his first yellow card when arguing the first ejection of the match. America would now be forced to play with 9 players.
America goalkeeper Moises Muñoz did not want to walk into any controversies and said
“Referees are human beings, and humans make mistake. Sometimes they favor us, and sometimes you just have to adjust, like today.”
With an extra two players and with a one goal deficit Xolos manger Antonio Mohammed sent in three attacking substitutions. While the Tijuana team poured on the pressure looking for the equalizing goal, Club America doubled their lead after a wonder strike from right back Paul Aguilar.
With a two goal lead and down two players America went into a defensive shell. The majority of Xolos’ goal scoring opportunities were coming from long distance shots, because they could not penetrate that defensive cocoon that America set up.
The Xoloitzcuitles did manage to cut the lead in half and gave the sold out crowd at the Estadio Caliente some hope. In the 75th minute central defender Pablo Cesar Aguilar who was now playing as another central forward got on the end of a Raul Enriquez cross and made a powerful shot that Muñoz was unable to stop.
Xolos were unable to find the equalizing goal that would have continued the undefeated home streak. With the loss Tijuana maintain themselves with 13 points and now sit in third place, behind Club America and Tigres.
Up next for the Xolos is a trip to Chiapas next Friday to play against Jaguares. And then the Copa Libertadores debut in Colombia.
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