Club Tijuana’s Under-20 Squad Beats Club Leon FC 2-0 in First Leg of Semifinals

Created: 22 November, 2013
Last update: 28 July, 2022
The Under 20 celebrates their victory over Club Leon
The Under 20 celebrates their victory over Club Leon

TIJUANA -Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente’s Under-20 team is a step closer to a championship final. Coach Diego Torres’ squad beat visiting Club Leon FC 2-0 in the first leg of the LIGA Bancomer MX-2013 Apertura semifinals Wednesday night at Estadio Caliente.

Esteban Rodriguez and Oliver Ortiz scored first half goals for the Xoloitzcuintles giving the team a 2-0 aggregate lead in the national tournament in Mexico’s premier youth league.

“The team knows that we are 90 minutes from a final but they also need to know that we need to stay focused or else we can lose it out of our hands,” Torres said. “We will tell them we haven’t done anything yet. We need to make them understand that they have not won anything yet. We know the entire coaching staff needs to feed that to them and tell them that they are a great team.”

Rodriguez, a Chula Vista, Calif. native, gave Club Tijuana the 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute when he sent a floating shot from just outside the penalty area. Rodriguez sprinted up field to reach a blocked shot by Alberto Garcia. Rodriguez’ goal is his fourth in four games. Rodriguez, a United States youth national team player, anchored the Xoloitzcuintles attack sharing a fluid brand of soccer with teammates.

About 6,000 fans witnessed Torres send Luis Garcia, Edgar Villegas, Juan Meza, Luis Trujillo, Jose Herrera, Homar Gonzalez, Fernando Arce Jr., Alberto Garcia, Marco Villanueva, Ortiz and Rodriguez on to the field as his starting 11.

Jose Espinoza, Luis Chavez and Alejandro Guido were second half substitutes.

The Xoloitzcuintles kept the offensive pressure on Leon, eventually leading to another Club Tijuana score.
Ortiz converted a penalty kick in the 42nd minute, sending his shot past Leon goalkeeper Mauricio Murillo into the top-right corner of the net. Referee Ricardo Fierro Rodriguez whistled the penalty kick when Rodriguez, the Club Tijuana striker, sent a shot off the hand of a Club Leon FC defender in the penalty area.

“It was motivating to shoot a penalty kick,” said Ortiz about his goal. “I am happy I got to send it in but even happier that the team won. It was a nice moment in front of a nice crowd.”

Club Leon thought it had a goal of its own in the 78th minute when Juan Flores tapped in a ball into the net but he was whistled offsides on the play and the goal was disallowed.

The Xoloitzcuintles will travel to Leon for the second leg of the home-and-home series Saturday Nov. 23 at Estadio Nou Camp 10 a.m. Pacific.

¡Viva! Mexico Qualifies for 2014 World Cup FINALLY

Mexico’s national soccer team secured a berth in the 2014 World Cup by wrapping up a victory over New Zealand Wednesday in interregional qualifying action.

After routing the Ziwis 5-1 last week in Mexico City, the Mexicans kept up their scoring onslaught at Westpac Stadium in Wellington to grab a 4-2 away win and a 9-3 victory on aggregate.

Oribe Peralta was the star once again for the Mexicans, scoring a first-half hat-trick that quickly erased all of New Zealand’s hopes of an improbable comeback in the home-and-away playoff.

Peralta, who also was the hero of Mexico’s goal-medal-winning squads in the 2011 Pan American Games and the 2012 London Olympics, scored his goals in the 14th, 29th and 33rd minutes.

In the first half, the Mexican team boasted a well-organized defense, creativity in midfield with Carlos Alberto Peña and Miguel Layun and effectiveness up front with forwards Peralta and Raul Jimenez.

Peralta’s first and third goals were assisted by Peña, while a pass from Layun set up his second successful strike.

New Zealand, meanwhile, squandered a golden opportunity to score in the first half when Jeremy Brockie failed to convert a penalty kick.

Mexico, which enjoyed an 8-1 lead on aggregate at the start of the second half, came out conservatively and allowed New Zealand to produce more threats on goal.

That attacking mindset led to a score by Chris James on a penalty kick in the 80th minute, while Rory Fallon added another goal two minutes later for New Zealand.