Paul Arriola (red) scored Tijuana's first goal in a 3-2 CONCACAF Champions League win over Victoria on August 20, 2013, in La Ceiba, Honduras. (Photo: Carlos Perez)
LA CEIBA, Honduras – At the Estadio Ceibeño on Tuesday, Mother Nature put on display three of its most powerful forces: thunder, lightning and torrential rain. Club Tijuana, though, had Paul Arriola, Diego Olsina and Cristian Pellerano.
All three Xolos players scored in a 3-2 win over host Victoria in a Group 7 CONCACAF Champions League match on a stormy night.
Electrical storms and a power outage delayed kick-off by nearly two hours before both teams entered the field.
Arriola gave the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute, tapping home a headed ball from Emmanuel Cerda inside the six-yard box. The 18-year-old, who is part of the United States youth system, beat scrambling Victoria goalkeeper John Boddy for his first goal of the tournament and second in his young professional career.
Five minutes before the break, Olsina struck to double Tijuana’s advantage. From the right wing, Cerda centered a short feed just inside the penalty area. As he was slipping, Olsina somehow managed to fire a left-footed shot past the diving Boddy, burying his first Champions League goal.
Victoria came out for the second half in a determined and attacking mood. Wilmer Crisanto cut Tijuana’s lead to 2-1 in the 48th minute, converting a penalty kick just inside the left post.
Pellerano brilliantly restored Tijuana’s two-goal cushion with a 69th minute blast from well outside the area. Boddy was left with no chance as the ball roared into the upper right corner.
With five minutes remaining in regulation time, Victoria’s Fredixon Elvir poked a shot past Tijuana goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo from seven-yards out to make the score 3-2 and provide brief hope of a comeback.
After two weeks of play, Tijuana (1-1-0, 4 points) tops the group, three points ahead of idle Luis Angel Firpo.