Xolos pick up three points thanks to Martinez brace, remain undefeated in Tijuana
By Kim Tate
Fidel Martinez has been giving Club Tijuana fans a lot to talk about this season. He just can't stop scoring for the Xolos. The 23 year old Ecuadorian midfielder now has five goals in eight games.
Martinez scored in each half and Pablo Aguilar added another goal for the Xoloitzcuintles to defeat ninth place Veracruz, keeping the home-unbeaten streak alive with a 3-0-2 record in Tijuana.
A rolling cross from Diego Olsina fed Martinez, who was able to finish for Tijuana's first goal in the 35th minute. Cristian Pellerano helped create the play after he recovered a ball just outside the Veracruz penalty area.
Aguilar found the net in the 39th minute when he sent a header off an Olsina free kick past GK Edgar Hernandez for a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.
Martinez closed out the scoring for Club Tijuana in the 66th minute, flicking the ball over Hernandez on a one-on-one play set up by deep pass from Pellerano.
“It was a great game by the team overall,” Head Coach Jorge Almiron said. “Aguilar and Fidel had a great game. The team played well and finally we were able to close out a game, an intelligent game.”
“It was difficult to try and fight through their defense as they sat back and defended at first,” Almiron sad. “But that play on the first goal by Martinez really changed the game. The second and third goal opened things up for us and we were able to tighten up defensively.”
Both teams were frequent rivals in the Liga de Ascenso of the Mexican league before Club Tijuana reached promotion to the First Division May of 2011 and Veracruz was promoted to Mexico’s top flight league this season.
American Greg Garza filled in for Edgar Castillo, who is on national team duty with USA in World Cup qualifying. Garza performed very well at both ends of the field as he usually does, holding the back line down and going the full 90 minutes. It was his fourth start for the club in eight games this season.
With the loss, Veracruz are now 3-4-2 with 13 points in nine games played. The Xolos can now add three points in the standings, totaling 11 after eight games and an overall record of 3-2-3. They travel to face Chivas de Guadalajara Sunday September 15 at Estadio Omnilife.