American Exports: Herculez scores, Tijuana win opener
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Liga MX champions Club Tijuana began the Clausura 2013 championship on Sunday in the same vein as they ended last season, defeating Puebla 2-1 in a game involving four US internationals.
DaMarcus Beasley went 72 minutes on the left wing in the Estadio Cuauhtémoc and came within inches of opening the scoring in the 10th minute, when he cut inside and fired a right-footed shot just wide.
On the half-hour mark, it was Tijuana midfielder Joe Corona’s turn to go close. He was open inside the area when the ball was crossed from the left, but his first-time shot rebounded off the bar.
Corona was brought off just after the hour mark.
American Edgar Castillo was quite heavily involved at both ends of the pitch and should’ve won a penalty in the 18th minute when he was brought down with a clumsy challenge just inside the penalty area. Castillo also came close to providing an assist for Duvier Riascos in the 67th, when he sent his teammate clear, but the shot was deflected wide.
Finally, ex-Philadelphia Union defender Michael Orozco Fiscal debuted and completed the full 90 minutes for Puebla and was largely solid at center back, even though Riascos caused continual problems for los Poblanos.
The Southern Californian ditched his defensive duties and moved forward as his team looked for the equalizer, swinging in a cross in the 76th minute that came close to providing the tying goal.
On Saturday, Herculez Gomez scored for Santos Laguna in the 27th minute of their 1-1 draw with San Luis, beating outrushing goalkeeper Óscar Pérez to the ball and heading into an unguarded net.
Gomez looked sharp in general playing in his preferred position in a two-man strikeforce alongside Oribe Peralta. He would have converted a second had Darwin Quintero passed him the ball after a neat one-two between the duo in the second half.
The striker was taken off in the 74th minute by Portuguese coach Pedro Caixinha.
Jose Torres missed out in Tigres UANL’s 3-0 home victory on Saturday over Jaguares with an injury that is likely to sideline him for the next two weeks.
In the second division, Jesus Padilla scored in the 88th for La Piedad in their 3-1 victory over Celaya on Sunday, having entered the field with 10 minutes remaining.
Finally, Marco Vidal went the full 90 minutes in Lobos BUAP’s 1-0 victory over Necaxa on Friday.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at email@example.com.