The first leg of the Xolos Tijuana vs Toluca liguilla final will take place on Thursday, November 29, 2012 (10:00 PM EDT) at the Estadio Caliente in Tijuana. The second leg and final game of the Apertura 2012 season will be on Sunday, December 2 at the Estadio Nemesio Diez in Toluca. Toluca comes into the game as the #1 seed after earning 34 points in the regular season but with a better goal difference than Xolos. To reach the final, they defeated Chivas of Guadalajara in the quarterfinals, and Club America in the semifinals. Meanwhile, Club Tijuana is the #2 seed also with 34 points in the regular season, but with a smaller goal difference than Toluca. Xolos Tijuana defeated Monterrey in the quarterfinals, and Leon in the semifinals in a nerve-racking series.
For the second season in a row, the #1 and #2 seeds will be in the finals. While last Clausura 2012 Santos and Monterrey had the offense as their strongest line, this season Toluca and Xolos have a defensive minded midfield which have allowed for their success. Toluca has a midfield that likes to control the ball and score on the counter-attack, but Xolos have a defense that serves like a barrier against opposite teams. This is a series that will undoubtedly have few goals because the mentality of both squads is focused on preserving the defensive line.
Xolos of Tijuana will play their first final in only their 3rd season in the first division. This is a team with a young history, but also with a lot of hunger for a title. The city of Tijuana and its surroundings have entered a mode of ‘Xolomania’, which means the stadium during the game will be in an extremely good atmosphere. Xolos will depend on defenders Javier Gandolfi and Pablo Aguilar to preserve the score, but the pressure will fall on Duvier Riascos to score.
Unlike Xolos, Toluca is a team with a history that dates back to 1916. Since then, the ‘diablos rojos’ have won ten first division titles, one less than the league leading Chivas. Against Tijuana, Toluca has a good chance of winning their 11th championship because they close the series at home. Midfielder Sinha seems like he became younger during the playoffs and has led their midfield to success. In order to beat Tijuana, it will be crucial for Toluca to obtain a positive result at the Caliente stadium where Xolos is undefeated and where they already lost this season.
Xolos Tijuana vs Toluca Prediction
The first leg of this final will be a tough match-up between two teams that focus on the counter-attack system. Toluca and Xolos have been the best two teams throughout the season, and what separates them is a better Toluca offense and a superior Xolos defense. The away goal does not make a difference in the final, so expect Toluca to play defensively. The score in the Xolos Tijuana vs Toluca game will be a 1-1 tie.
Xolos Tijuana vs Toluca Television
The Xolos Tijuana vs Toluca first leg final will be televised on Univision Deportes on Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 10:00 PM EDT.