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Did you pay attention to Mexico last night?

Nov 30, 2012, 11:44 AM EDT

Fidel Martinez, Alfredo Moreno, Fernando Arce AP

It was a late start for you large-numbered East Coasters, but our man Noah gave fair warning. Come Thursday night, Mexico’s first title of the season would start to be decided, with one of two unlikely surprise stories set to claim a historic title.

For Toluca, winning their two-legged tie against Club Tijuana would give the team an 11th Primera Division title, tying Chivas’s record.

For Tijuana (Xolos, Club TJ – whatever you want to call them), history’s already been made, the club competing in their first Primera final. Win it, however, and a team that was in the second division a year-and-a-half ago will claim a surprise first title.

Last night, Tijuana held serve at Estadio Caliente, if controversially. After Tijuana’s Fidel Martinez and Toluca’s Edgar Benítez traded first half goals within two minutes of each other, Pablo Aguilar scored TJ’s winner from an offside position. Xolos went on to win, 2-1.

Otherwise, it was an impressive attacking performance from Tijuana, though with only a one-goal lead, Toluca has to be favored to take home the title.

But remember Sunday. Then, América – the tournament’s four-seed – got two early goals at Toluca, giving los Diablos Rojos a scare on their way to the final. Tijuana’s certainly capable of doing the same.

A TJ title could have major implications for Liga MX beyond Xolos’ first title. Moving the title nearly 1200 miles away from the league’s next-closest team would present a major shift in Mexican soccer power, especially since its destination would be a border town long thought to be a city based on as much promise as present.  With Club Tijuana already generating excitement north of the border (where San Diegans can walk to the game after parking at the San Ysidro crossing), a championship could make major waves.

First things first – the second leg. The teams meet at the Nemesio Diez Sunday, 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

  1. mrtuktoyaktuk - Nov 30, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Even though I follow MLS and the European game closely, I never paid much attention to Mexico, although I knew I probably should be. I started paying attention mainly due to Concacaf Champions League and also with more and more US National team players joining Mexican league clubs. I made an effort to follow the standings of Liga MX and subscribed to the Spanish language channels on DirecTV to see CCL and LigaMX games. I don’t know how widespread this kind of interest has grown, I do know I am not alone.

    • tylerbetts - Nov 30, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      LigaMX games are about the only games I get on my TV at home. I don’t subscribe to Cable, so the antenna picks up what it can pick up. That, along with my interest in CCL and the USMNTers has lead me to follow the leage a little more closely.

  2. Dan Haug - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    What!? No mention of Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona playing for Tijuana??? You guys are slipping. Corona got the assist on the “winning goal”.

    • Richard Farley - Nov 30, 2012 at 10:45 PM

      I intentionally avoided the US angle, though that’s a very legitimate one. I think the story of the club deserves some time in the spotlight. But, you are probably right. One paragraph would not have hurt. Good call.

      • Dan Haug - Dec 1, 2012 at 12:09 AM

        Not trying to be super-critical… I appreciate the volume of content you guys need to produce. I was just surprised by the omission.

  3. XoloSd - Dec 1, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    Southern Cali has been all about the Xolos for a while now. That is why I formed the first English fan club website and it keeps growing everyday. Contact me if you like @xolosd

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