Club Tijuana's Javier Guemez (right) in CONCACAF Champions League action against Luis Angel Firpo on August 28, 2013. (Photo: Mexsport)
TIJUANA, Mexico – As the team continues pushing for a spot in the domestic playoffs and a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) final, the next few days are critical for Club Tijuana.
In the Liga MX Clausura standings, the Xolos are in a four-way tie for sixth place on 17 points, but do not currently occupy a playoff position due to inferior goal difference. That could all change after Friday’s visit to Queretaro.
A win would move Tijuana into the top eight, while a loss – combined with a series of other results – could potentially drop them down as low as 14th place.
Then, on Tuesday, the 2012 Apertura champion welcomes Cruz Azul to the Estadio Caliente for the first leg of their all-Mexican CCL semifinal series.
The stakes couldn’t be higher, but midfielder Javier Guemez is taking a measured approach during this decisive period.
"We go with the mentality of getting points and follow the right track looking for the objective of advancing to the next round of the tournament," said the 22-year-old.
Offensively, Tijuana has been in good form as of late, scoring a combined seven goals in its last two games -- wins over the LA Galaxy (4-2) and Puebla (3-1). On the other side of the ball, though, it has posted only one shutout in its last 10 outings.
That’s one trend Guemez would like to see reversed.
"We want to keep it zero on our goal and we want to make a good game in that sense,” he expressed. “We are working hard to reach a place in playoffs and it will be very important to be solid in defense and know to score when opportunities present themselves.”
In the most important games, opportunities can be few and far between. In order for Tijuana to achieve its goals this season, they must be seized immediately.