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The Tijuana Xolos advanced to the championship series of Mexico's premier soccer league following a 3-0 home victory over León on Sunday. The Xolos will host Toluca on Thursday and then play at Toluca on Sunday in the two-game, home-and-away championship series.
After losing the first game of their playoff with León 2-0 on Thursday, the Xolos had to win by at least two goals Sunday to advance to the championship.
They did, with goals by Fidel Martínez in the 42nd minute, Duvier Riascos in the 68th minute, and Richard Ruiz in the 90th minute. León opted to play a defensive game, and failed in the trying. Game story, Frontera.
Perhaps the victory will assuage the sting suffered by Aeromexico passengers on a late-night Mexico City to Tijuana flight Thursday that made an unannounced stop in León to pick up the Xolos. Then, because of bad landing conditions at the Tijuana airport, the plane had to land in Mexicali, where passengers had to resort to their own devices to get to Tijuana, Frontera newspaper reported. It said some passengers went to the Mexicali bus station, only to find they would have to wait until 6 a.m. for the first bus to Tijuana.
The paper said Aeromexico did offer to fly passengers back to Mexico City and thence to Tijuana. The flight was supposed to arrive in Tijuana at 11:20 p.m.; it arrived in Mexicali at 2 a.m. Story, Frontera (PDF).
On Monday, Nov. 19, Frontera wrote a story about how the Xolos' success might help out Jorge Hank Rhon, whose Caliente Group sponsors the Xolos. His son Jorgealberto Hank is president of the team. It quoted Hank Rhon as saying the team is helping change the perception of Tijuana and the border. He did not have a reply when asked whether the team's advancement could help him in his desire to become governor of Baja California next year. The Institutional Revolutionary Party politician previously served as mayor of Tijuana and lost the 2007 governor's race to the National Action Party's José Guadalupe Osuna Millán. Story, Frontera (PDF).
On Monday, Nov. 26, Frontera quoted the Mexico-state born Hank as saying that although Toluca has always been his team, he will be pulling for the Xolos. Story, Frontera (PDF).