The Xolos Tijuana vs Toluca Final series for the Apertura 2012 of the Liga MX will feature the two teams that displayed the best soccer all throughout the season. The #1 seed, Toluca, will first get to travel to Tijuana and play the #2 seed, Xolos. Even though both teams have deservedly made it to the championship phase of the liguilla, I believe that Xolos will ultimately win the championship. Here are my 5 top reasons why Xolos will win the Xolos Tijuana vs Toluca Final 2012 series:
Leon, the media, and even most Xolos fans thought Leon would go through to the championship series after defeating Xolos 2-0 in Leon. No one expected Tijuana would play the perfect home game and crush a Leon squad that appeared to be already thinking about the final. The historic 3-0 victory over Leon gives Xolos the edge going into the Xolos Tijuana vs Toluca final series. On the other hand, Toluca lost 2-1 against America at home, and were just one goal away from being eliminated. Toluca looked bad for the entire first half, and were able to keep it together long enough in the second half to hold off America. Tijuana definitely has the momentum on their side.
#4 CIRILO SAUCEDO
Cirilo Saucedo has been a key reason as to why Tijuana has reached the championship series. Most recently, Saucedo had an outstanding 93rd minute stop against Leon, blocking a header that nearly gave Leon the goal that would have eliminated Xolos. Saucedo is one of the main reasons Xolos has the best defense in the Liga MX. A steady presence inside the box, Saucedo’s experience will prove to be a decisive factor in Xolos ultimate victory against Toluca.
#3 FERNANDO ARCE
Arce provides a calming presence in the midfield, the type of player that can recover the ball and distribute it efficiently. In the home match against Leon, Arce was a key factor in the victory; Arce had two assists, distributed the ball well throughout the match, and helped maintain control of the midfield. Arce has led the midfield all season long, being the most versatile midfielder. With Pellerano as the defensive component of the midfield, and Leandro Augusto/Joe Corona providing the offensive component, Arce is the perfect player that can both defend and attack efficiently, thus providing Xolos with a balanced midfield that will defeat Toluca.
#2 ESTADIO CALIENTE
The long travel to Tijuana, the unrelenting support of the fans, the closeness of the stands to the field, and the artificial turf make the Estadio Caliente a headache for all visiting teams. Xolos have not lost at the Estadio Caliente all season long, including the playoffs. Last Sunday, you could tell Leon did not feel comfortable at the Estadio Caliente, they were just a shell of the team that we saw at the Nou Camp just a couple of days before. Toluca will suffer a similar fate, all of the factors that make the Estadio Caliente an invincible fortress will ensure Tijuana defeats Toluca. The Estadio Caliente will be a huge factor in determining Xolos as the winner of the Xolos Tijuana vs Toluca Final series.
#1 EL TURCO
El Turco is undoubtedly the #1 reason why Xolos will defeat Toluca. All throughout the season, El Turco has led his team perfectly: maintaining it calm, using the right formation at the right time, and motivating a squad that was not expected to make it this far. Against Monterrey, El Turco played a defensive formation in both games that effectively nullified the powerful Monterrey offense. At home against Leon, El Turco fielded an offensive, yet balanced team that was able to overcome the 2-0 deficit from the loss at Leon. El Turco will know who to play, how to arrange them and who to sub in at the right time. He has an outstanding opponent in Meza, but ultimately, El Turco will come out victorious from the Xolos Tijuana vs Toluca Final series.
What do you think, who will win the Xolos Tijuana vs Toluca Final series?