Club Tijuana is going all in with their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal second leg against the LA Galaxy.
Tijuana head coach Cesar Farias opted to use a reserve-laden squad in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat against Cruz Azul in Mexico City. Cruz Azul striker Marco Fabian tallied twice as La Maquina roared back from an early deficit to extend Tijuana’s league road winless streak to 20 games.
The Xoloitzcuintles went ahead in the 45th minute when San Diego native Alejandro Guido fed Paul Arriola with a through ball that split two Cruz Azul defenders before the former Galaxy Academy attacker fired a pass across the goal mouth to Richard Ruiz, who scored from close range.Tijuana’s lead would not last, however, as Fabian fired a blast from beyond 25 yards just two minutes into the second half to equalize.
Fabian struck again in the 70th minute with yet another classy finish, this time from close range to give Cruz Azul the victory. Heading into Champions League quarterfinal second leg against the Galaxy, Tijuana sits in 10th place in the Liga MX 2014 Clausura Tournament with 14 points and a 4-5-2 record.
On Sunday, Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan stated that Farias' willingness to save his first team players for the Champions League second leg showed just how important the competition has become in recent years.
"It's a sign of the times," said Donovan following Galaxy training on Sunday. "I think that five years ago, they would have played their full team against Cruz Azul and we would have gotten their reserve team, but now, these teams realize that they can't do that anymore. We're going to see their absolute best effort on Tuesday and we're going to need to be ready."
Highlights of Tijuana's loss to Cruz Azul are below.