Monterrey Vs. Tijuana, 2012 Clausura Liguilla: Rayados Answer Xolos' Goals, Advance

Tijuana went ahead on Monterrey on two occasions on Saturday night and went up by a man in the first half as well, but the Rayados answered every punch by the Xolos to advance to the semifinals of Liguilla. Tijuana came into the match on Saturday down a goal and needing to win by two to win. They put up a good showing in Monterrey, but didn't have enough to go through. The match finished a 2-2 draw, with Monterrey going through 4-3 on aggregate.

Egidio Arévalo put Tijuana up after just eight minutes with a great strike from the edge of the penalty area, finding a spot to place the ball into the net past a screened Jonathan Orozco. The match was rather uneventful for 20 minutes after that until the referee made a name for himself, sending off Monterrey's Angel Reyna. Tied on aggregate and up a man, the Xolos appeared to have a clear path to the semifinals.

Even though they had 10 men, Monterrey had other plans. In the 44th minute, Aldo de Nigris won a 50-50 battle for a ball in the air and improbably placed a brilliant header into the path of Cesar Delgado, who finished from 10 yards to restore Monterrey's advantage heading into halftime.

Tijuana's man advantage quickly evaporated in the second half when Miguel Almazán was shown a second yellow card in the 50th minute, but they would continue to fight for a goal. In the 59th minute, Monterrey defender José Basanta was whistled for a handball in the box, and Arévalo stepped up to convert the penalty. That put the Xolos back level on aggregate, but their joy didn't last long. Basanta atoned for his error just four minutes after giving away a penalty by heading in a cross by Delgado after a corner kick, tying the match at 2-2 and putting the Rayados up 4-3 on aggregate.

Armando Pulido of Tijuana was sent off in the 72nd minute, killing all chances of a Xolos comeback. Monterrey join Club America in the semifinals, and they await the results of Sunday's matches.

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