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Corona peaking at the right time for Xolos
April 8th, 2014 8:51PM

TAGS:  americans abroad, concacaf champions league, men's national team


[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Wednesday] A 1-0 win over Liga MX leader in the first leg gave Tijuana coach Cesar Farias hope Xolos could survive Wednesday's game in Mexico City and advance to the final of the Concacaf Champions League in its first appearance in the tournament.

“The home shutout weighs a lot,” Farias said afterward. “It gives us many possibilities in the return leg. The win is always nice and it is even better when it is well played. Without a doubt, they have the obligation, but we will not make it easy for them.”

Tijuana has played well since Farias' arrival to put itself in position to reach the CCL final -- with a trip to the Club World Cup in Morocco going to the champion -- without sacrificing its Liga MX campaign like it did in 2013 when it reached the quarterfinals of the Copa Libertadores. A 3-1 win over Toluca on Friday night left it in the top eight with four games to play.

A key for Tijuana has been the return to form of American Joe Corona, who suffered through a disappointing second half of 2013 and was bothered by an ankle injury early this year. He has started and played well in all three games in the CCL knockout phase to put himself back on U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann's radar.

Greg Garza started the two games against the LA Galaxy before giving way to incumbent Edgar Castillo at left back in the first leg of the Cruz Azul series. Castillo was a Liga MX team of the week pick for his play in the win over Toluca.

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