The first leg of the Xolos Tijuana vs Atletico Mineiro Copa Libertadores quarterfinals will be this Thursday, May 23, 2013 (5:30 PM PST) at the Estadio Caliente in Tijuana. Much has been spoken of about this greatly anticipated match between two outstanding teams. Xolos receive the top team in the tournament, and the favorite, led by international star, Ronaldinho. Club Atletico Mineiro is ready to take an extra step closer to their goal, which is reaching the final.
Ronaldo Gaucho has been an important factor in the hype prior to the Xolos vs Atletico Mineiro match. Other than this being one of the most important matches in the history of Tijuana’s club, the presence of Ronaldinho moved over 300 people into the airport who wanted to see his arrival into the northern city. Most surprisingly, over 2,500 fans went to the synthetic fields of the Reforma complex to see the great soccer idol practice with his team. The fans are ready to see Rolnaldinho, but they are not necessarily ready to see him succeed against Xolos. The Estadio Caliente sold-out on Tuesday, and scalpers are selling tickets at excessive prices; up to $250.00 for a $60.00 ticket.
The city of Tijuana is ready to receive Atletico Mineiro; but most importantly, they are ready to support
Xolos with everything they got. Club Tijuana sacrificed their Liga MX playoffs in order to succeed in the Libertadores. In other words, this is it; this is what Xolos and their fans have been waiting for since the year began. A sold-out stadium will have the atmosphere similar to the Leon-Xolos semifinal match in the Apertura 2012 when Tijuana had to win 2-0. Xolos has the best defense in the Libertadores, as they have only received 5 goals in 8 matches. Unfortunately, they will miss their star defender Pablo Aguilar who was unjustly red-carded in the last game against Palmeiras.
Atletico Mineiro is living through one of the best moments in recent years. They have a squad filled with stars like Bernard, Jo, Diego Tardelli, Marco Rocha, and of course, Ronaldinho. This team could be considered to have the best offense in the continent, and they have played like that after scoring an outstanding 22 goals in 8 matches; including 6 against Sao Paulo in the previous round. Moreover, they recently won the Minas Gerais state league against Cruzeiro. This is a team with the utmost popularity, offensive threat, and confidence needed to become Copa Libertadores champions.
Xolos Tijuana vs Atletico Mineiro Prediction
The Xolos Tijuana vs Atletico Mineiro Libertadores quarterfinal match will undoubtedly be the must-watch series this quarterfinals. The winner between the two will become cup favorites, as one possesses the top defense, and the other the top offense. The Caliente stadium in Tijuana will be a party hosted by 23,333 fans; and although they have been nice to Ronaldinho and company since their arrival, during the match it will play differently.
The first leg will have Xolos attacking, while Atletico Mineiro will take its time to adapt to the field and its opponent. The winner will be the locals, as the Xolos Tijuana vs Atletico Mineiro match will end 2-1 for the home team.
Xolos Tijuana vs Atletico Mineiro Television
The Xolos Tijuana vs Atletico Mineiro match will be televised this Thursday, May 23, 2013 on Fox Deportes at 5:30 PM Pacific.