RYAN BACIC - Tuesday, May 14, 2013
With the latest huge win in Brazil, it looks like the Xolos magic isn't stopping any time soon.
After a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Mexico on April 30, Edgar Castillo, Joe Corrona and Club Tijuana had quite the challenge awaiting them Tuesday night: Beat Palmeiras one way or another on the road in Brazil, or miss out on the quarterfinals of the Copa Libertadores.
Tijuana chose the former.
In a game in which Xolos never trailed, Colombian striker Duvier Riascos got his team on the board in the 27th minute, while Mexican attacking midfielder Fernando Arce doubled the visitors' advantage in the 52'. A penalty kick gave Palmeiras one back just 10 minutes later, but the Brazilians proved unable to close the gap in a 2-1 Tijuana win.
Not that Xolos coasted. After picking up a first yellow card 22 minutes, Paraguayan center back Pablo Aguilar was awarded his second and the subsequent red with seven to play in the second. Down to 10 men, though, Tijuana hung on to advance in its first taste of the Libertadores knockout rounds.
Castillo picked up a yellow as well on the night, while Greg Garza did not make the 18 for Xolos. Next up for Tijuana will be another two-legger against Atletico Mineiro, who trounced fellow Brazilian side Sao Paolo 6-2 on aggregate to advance.
As is made apparent by that lopsided scoreline, Atletico is led by a potent attacking force, with Ronaldinho and former Manchester City striker Jo representing just two of the team's many weapons.