Just one year after ascending from the second division and seven years after the club was created, Club Tijuana is the champion of Mexico. The Xolos clinched the title after a 2-0 second leg win at Toluca on Sunday, following a 2-1 win at home Thursday in the first leg.
Toluca came out needing a goal, but couldn't muster much to threaten Cirilo Saucedo's goal in the opening stages. On 25 minutes, Javier Gandolfi went in with a reckless challenge that saw his studs firmly planted in Sinha's ankle. Fortunately for Xolos, the referee inexplicably decided to call the foul on the Toluca playmaker.
As the second half started, U.S. international Edgar Castillo had a great chance to double his side's aggregate advantage, but his fierce left-footed strike from outside the box was well palmed over by Alfredo Talavera.
Minutes later, Luis Tejada almost leveled the tie, but his glancing header from close range just flashed wide of the far post.
The home side paid dearly for that miss, as Xolos clinched the title with a quick-fire double in a three minute stretch.
First, the visitors found the opener with 20 minutes left. Fidel Martinez was felled, setting up a free kick just outside the box for Fernando Arce. His curling shot struck the far post, and Richard Ruiz pounced on the rebound and applied the finish with no defenders in sight.
Still reeling, Toluca conceded again right away. Martinez sent Duvier Riascos in behind the defense, and his step-over bamboozled Talavera, leaving an open net for the Colombian to exploit. In a matter of moments it was 2-0 in the match and 4-1 on aggregate. The Xolos saw the match out and celebrate an Apertura championship.
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