American Exports: Joe Corona shines despite Tijuana's last-gasp loss to Club America
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Joe Corona shined in his preferred playmaking role for Club Tijuana on Saturday, but couldn’t stop Xolos losing 2-1 to Club América after Pablo Aguilar stole the points with a header in the 96th minute.
Corona – playing behind Tijuana’s two strikers – launched a long pass that led to a penalty, from which Xolos took the first-half lead.
The San Diego native was bright and inventive in his general play before being taken off in the 77th minute and should’ve drawn a red card for América’s José Guerrero in the 35th, when the US international was brought down on the edge of the penalty area as he was bursting through on goal.
Greg Garza produced a solid display at left back, with Xolos defending resolutely for the majority of the game, despite waves of attacks from las Águilas. The result leaves Xolos with zero points from their first two matches of the Apertura 2014.
Michael Orozco’s Puebla did pick up a point on Saturday, drawing 0-0 at home to rivals Veracruz, with the American going 90 minutes on the right of La Franja’s three center-back set.
Orozco almost snatched a win for Puebla five minutes from time when he turned and hit a snapshot from inside the area, but it went straight at 'keeper Edgar Hernández.
Tigres UANL’s Jose Torres appears to have a new position on the right side of midfield under manager Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti and excelled as his side overcame reigning champions León 4-2 at Estadio Universitario.
Torres assisted Hernán Burbano’s opener in the 13th minute and had a shot from outside the area saved by Mexican-American goalkeeper William Yarbrough in the 31st.
Herculez Gomez came off the bench for Tigres in the 67th with the scoring already wrapped up.
Later on Saturday evening, Gabriel Farfan came off the bench in the 58th for Chiapas against Toluca and scored an own-goal. Farfan's side, playing at home, managed to win 2-1 despite playing the second half with 10 players after Bruno Pires was sent off in first-half injury time.
The American lost balance and couldn't do anything when a right wing cross bounced off him and crossed the line in the 85th, setting up a frantic last five minutes, with Toluca chasing the equalizer.
On Sunday, Jonathan Bornstein wasn't in Querétaro's 18 in their 1-0 win win at Leones Negros.
On Friday evening, Edgar Castillo’s Atlas defeated Morelia 2-0 away, although the left back was often indecisive when defending and lost the ball too often.
In Mexico’s second division, Marco Vidal played the second 45 minutes in Mineros de Zacatecas’ 2-0 win over Necaxa, also on Friday.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at email@example.com.