Gringo Report: Corona, Tijuana grab first Primera victory
GUADALAJARA, Mexico — In a weekend full of action for Americans south of the border, Joe Benny Corona started for Club Tijuana and helped his team rally from 1-0 down to overcome Santos Laguna 3-1 on Saturday.
The victory marked the club’s first-ever points in the Primera División and around 100 fans of the Rojinegros turned up at the airport to welcome the team home. Winger Corona, who has two goals to his name already in the Apertura 2011, came off in the last minute of the game.
Sacramento-born Miguel Ángel Ponce filled his regular left back berth for Guadalajara in the weekend’s biggest game in Mexico against first-place Pumas UNAM. Ponce played the full 90 minutes, performing with his usual zeal and driving up and down the left flank in a scoreless draw with the defending champions.
Also in Guadalajara, Herculez Gomez’s Estudiantes Tecos fell back down to earth with a bump against Tigres UANL following last week’s upset 2-1 victory over América in the Estadio Azteca. Tigres dominated large swathes of the game, coming out 1-0 winners. Coach José Luis “Chelís” Sánchez said it was the worst performance during his time at the club.
Gomez had a late chance after being put through from a lobbed ball but the 29-year-old could not make good contact and the effort sailed past the post.
Estudiantes have yet to score from open play this season and the club remains in real danger of being relegated. Tecos are second-to-last in the relegation standings (based on points-per-game over the last three years), ahead of only Tijuana.
Jonathan Bornstein was not on the bench for Tigres and instead played in the club’s U-20 game in a bid to keep up his fitness. Bornstein looked sharp playing in a left wing position and posed a constant threat.
After a promising start to the season by DaMarcus Beasley’s Puebla, the wheels have slightly started to come off. After being battered 5-1 on Wednesday, la Franja were humbled again as Jaguares came from behind to win 2-1 in Puebla on Sunday.
Beasley played the full 90 minutes and won his team an early penalty after driving into the box from the right and being pushed over. The three-time World Cup veteran will now travel to Philadelphia to join up with the US squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Mexico.
Another returnee to the US squad, José Francisco Torres wasn’t in the game-day squad for Pachuca’s 2-1 loss at Querétaro.
Michael Orozco Fiscal is suspended for San Luis’ next match, but this weekend’s game was postponed due to Club América’s participation in the World Football Challenge. Orozco Fiscal also travel back to Philadelphia, where he played for the Union, to join up with the US squad.
In the last game of the WFC, Edgar Castillo started in left midfield against Barcelona. The focus of much attention following his call-up to the USMNT, Castillo went the full 90 in América’s 2-0 loss against the European champions. Striker Isaac Acuña, 21, came on for the last half-hour of the contest.
In the Liga de Ascenso, Texan Marco Vidal played a full 90 minutes in León’s 2-0 victory over Necaxa.
Tom Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter: @mexicoworldcup