American Exports: Joe Corona starts, but Club Tijuana's playoff hopes dim after draw with Tigres
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Five Americans featured on Friday as Club Tijuana drew 0-0 with Tigres UANL at Estadio Caliente to all but end Xolos’ hopes of making the postseason.
Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona and Paul Arriola all started for Tijuana, who had the better chances to win a match that was largely a turgid midfield battle.
Castillo was unusually quiet in his attacking intent, while Corona (above) battled hard in an attacking midfield position for the 61 minutes he went before making way for Herculez Gomez.
Tijuana constantly looked for Arriola on the right wing in the first half, but while he sparkled intermittently, the 18-year-old wasn’t able to provide the killer move Xolos were looking for.
Gomez won the free kick that led to José Rivas getting sent off in the 78th and got a warm reception when he entered from the home crowd, but didn’t get involved as much as he would like as Xolos huffed and puffed in search of a winner.
Jose Torres found himself relegated to the bench as Tigres struggled to keep possession and when he eventually came on in the 59th did add a sense of poise as the Monterrey side looked to counterattack.
Tijuana have to hope DaMarcus Beasley’s Puebla, Veracruz and Chiapas all slip up this weekend, while Tigres move to within three points of the playoff places.
In the Ascenso MX, Arizona native Ventura Alvarado started his third consecutive game and went 90 minutes as Necaxa overcame Deflines 3-0 in Aguascalientes to move into first place in the league. Texan Sonny Guadarrama came off the bench in the 54th and was on the field when Los Rayos scored its last two goals.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com.