Club Tijuana dominated the first leg of its semi-final series with Toluca but allowed a late goal that has the series in play after a 2-1 Xolos win in the first leg.
The series will be decided Sunday afternoon at Toluca's Bombonera, where the Red Devils haven't lost in 2018.
Tijuana won't be too intimidated by a strong home record, though, after beating Monterrey at home in the quarter-final.
The rematch of the 2012 Apertura final decides which of these two teams plays for another league title, and it should be a hard-fought affair.
|Game||Toluca vs. Tijuana|
|Date||Sunday, May 13|
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Stream (US only)||fuboTV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
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Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Talavera, Garcia, Centeno, Pasquel|
|Defenders||Garcia, Perg, Gonzalez, Delgadillo, Calvo, Garcia, Borja, Benitez, Rojas, Salinas|
|Midfielders||Sartiaguin, Rios, Lopez, Medina, Zamora, Sambueza, Quiniones, Barrientos|
|Forwards||Reyna, Uribe, Hauche, Cenelo, Vega, Abundis|
Alexis Canelo could return to the Toluca bench after missing the Tijuana trip because of injury. Also look for Hernan Cristante to return to the 4-2-3-1 formation that he used during the Red Devils' long winning streak if central midfielder Leonel Lopez is fit to return. He also missed the trip north and is questionable for the second leg.
Potential starting XI: Talavera; Salinas, Gonzalez, Garcia, Borja; Lopez, Rios; Sambueza, Barrientos, Quinones; Uribe
|Defenders||Valenzuela, Aguilar, Perez, Aguirregaray, Donatti, Orozco, Munoz, Corona|
|Midfielders||Guido, Gonsalvez, Malcorra, Mendoza, Musto, Chavez, Kalinsky, Pisano|
|Forwards||Iturbe, Bou, Bolanos, Lucero, Goncalves, Rubin|
Tijuana gets Ignacio Rivero back from suspension for the second leg.
Potential starting XI: Lajud; O. Mendoza, Aguilar, Valenzuela, Perez; L. Mendoza, Rivero, Musto, Bolanos; Lucero, Bou
Betting & Match Odds
A stoppage-time goal from Fernando Uribe breathed life into Toluca on Thursday, giving the Red Devils just a one-goal barrier to climb in Sunday afternoon's second leg of the semi-final.
The No. 1 seed has been unbeatable at home this season - even with last weekend's near collapse to Monarcas Morelia taken into account. That saw Toluca control 90 minutes of the second leg, taking a 4-2 aggregate into the final moments and then forgetting that stoppage time exists and conceding twice to move through on a tiebreaker (better regular season finish).
There can be no lack of focus this time around. Tijuana had been horrible on the road this season but scored twice in Monterrey to knock out Rayados and reach this stage. It was the first time this campaign Tijuana had scored multiple goals away from home. This time, thanks to a first-leg advantage, that won't be necessary if Xolos' staunch back line can hold.
Rubens Sambueza didn't have his best game Thursday and needs to be more influential. He'll be able to should Leonel Lopez be fit enough to return in the midfield and pair with Antonio Rios in the middle of midfield. Their presence allows the Toluca attack more freedom than they had Thursday, with several players, including Angel Reyna on the wing behind Sambueza, in unfamiliar positions.
Toluca will have the ball. The visitor had nearly two-thirds of possession at the Estadio Caliente with Tijuana boss Diego Cocca's team typically defensive but able to get goals from Juan Martin Lucero on either side of the break.
Cristante's teams have been much more lethal at home, so defenders Pablo Aguilar and Juan Carlos Valenzuela are going to be tested. If they can be as good as they were in the regular season, Xolos might be able to get into the final. Toluca still has to be the favorite for Sunday's leg, though, with its strong home record and attacking talent that can get the better of even a top defense and continue its quest for another title.