Tijuana will be the champion of Apertura 2012
Last week, I said Toluca was superior to a complicated America and that Tijuana even losing in the first leg, could make the comeback at home. Both teams did not make me look bad, and they advanced to the grand final after two closely contested encounters.
However, the second leg between the “Red Devils” and the “Aguilas” was a difficult match where America squandered a great opportunity after going ahead 2-0, which led me to think at that moment the Azulcremas could advance. I think that finally the time ran out on America to complete the feat.
Contrary to what you may believe, America was not affected by the absence of Christian Benitez, and conversely, overcame the adverse 2-0 deficit and was close to scoring a third goal. After entering in the 70th minute, the Ecuadorian couldn’t make the difference. Benítez played a little restrained, placing himself with a distance from Toluca’s defenders to avoid a contact that could affect his injury, which decreased his chances of reaching the ‘Choricero’ goal.
Meanwhile, at Estadio Caliente, Leon committed a grand error by renouncing its traditional style of play where it always looked to score with an attacking minded tactical plan. The “Panzas Verdes” decided to defend and refuse to attack, and that allowed the Xolos to generate innumerable chances on goal and rally from 2-0 down, playing a great match. I think the tactic of Leon’s coach Gustavo Matosas was wrong in the approach to play defensively.
Although the final will be evenly matched, I’m inclined to pick Tijuana as the winner. To have a chance to win the championship, Toluca needs to take advantage of the altitude of its stadium and its strength at home. In this tournament they have won seven matches and tied twice at Nemesio Diaz before losing to America on Sunday. However, I see the Xolos as the more compact team, harder working and more attuned to what their coach wants. For those reasons I see them as favorites for the title.
WE’RE IN THE SECOND DIVISION FINAL
I’m very happy to have classified with Dorados for the Second Division final after beating a difficult Necaxa team, which was the standings leader in the tournament.
It should be a complicated final against La Piedad, a great team, who same as us, also deserves be playing it. Wednesday we play a difficult match and we have to respect the home-field advantage and score enough goals to allow us to go to La Piedad with a big lead.
I hope when I greet you next week it will be as a Second Division champion!