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Liguilla Quarterfinals: Club Tijuana vs. Club León - Highlights and boxscore

Xolos’ historic comeback falls short as León takes the aggregate 5-3 in a wild one in Tijuana.

Tijuana’s Avilés Hurtado and León’s Efraín Velarde battle for the ball.
Tijuana’s Avilés Hurtado and León’s Efraín Velarde battle for the ball.
Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente press release

Liga MX may be many things, but it certainly is not boring. Tijuana mounted an epic comeback even while down a man only to lose the match in the last ten minutes to a León side that kept its composure after giving up three goals on the road.

Tijuana got the scoring started in the eleventh minute when Avilés Hurtado was fouled in the box. Dayro Moreno calmly slotted the ball home from the spot to put Xolos down just two on the aggregate.

Minutes later however, fortunes would turn as Juninho was shown a straight red card for a flying kick that hit Alexander Mejía in the hip area. Miguel Herrera was also shown a red card, for his arguing with the referees.

Tijuana would however manage to keep the momentum going in the 41st minute, as Yasser Corona got on the end of this cross by Milton Caraglio to bring Xolos within one on the aggregate. Watch the dummy by Avilés Hurtado on the play - I’m not sure if he touched it or not, but William Yarbrough was committed to stopping his shot and not that of Corona.

Then just two minutes later, Tijuana pulled level. In an astonishing turn of events, Guido Rodriguez was able to take the deflected free kick and hit it at a hard angle past Yarbrough.

Just before the half, Alexander Mejía was subbed off for Christian Valdez. Guillermo Burdisso also left the field of play late in the first half with his head gushing blood, however he did leave on his own power. He was however subbed out for Nacho González, leaving León with just one sub left.

In the second half, León was able to mount some offensive pressure, however Federico Vilar was able to make save after huge save. León’s last sub would be Maxi Moralez, and he would be the one that turned the tide of the match. While Tijuana played very smart and not over-committing on breaks, Vilar wasn’t able to stop everything. In the 80th minute, Mauro Boselli was able to get on the end of this cross by Moralez and head the ball in, giving León the lead and forcing Xolos to try and score two to account for away goals.

Just four minutes later, Luis Montes was able to add on an insurance goal and the clock had struck midnight on Tijuana’s magical comeback. Xolos just were unable to overcome being down a man, and León heads on to the Liguilla semifinal.

Xolos: Federico Vilar; Damián Pérez, Yasser Corona, Juan Valenzuela, Emanuel Aguilera, Juan Carlos Núñez; Avilés Hurtado (Ignacio Malcorra - 60’), Juninho, Guido Rodríguez, Dayro Moreno (Gabriel Hauche - 78’); Milton Caraglio (Henry Martín - 69’)

León: William Yarbrough, Efraín Velarde, Guillermo Burdisso (Ignacio González - 46’), Fernando Navarro, Diego Novaretti, Elías Hernández, Luis Montes, Alexander Mejía (Christian Valdez - 45’), Leonel López (Maximiliano Moralez - 68’), Germán Cano, Mauro Boselli

Scoring: Tijuana - Dayro Moreno (13’ - penalty), Yasser Corona (41’), Guido Rodríguez (43’); León - Mauro Boselli (80’), Luis Montes (84’)

Disciplinary: Tijuana - Guido Rodríguez (Yellow - 7’), Miguel Herrera (Red - 9’), Juninho (Red - 16’), Avilés Hurtado (Yellow - 45+1’); León - William Yarbrough (Yellow - 11’), Guillermo Burdisso (Yellow - 15’)