American Exports: Four Americans take the field in critical Club Tijuana victory over Queretaro
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Four Americans were involved as Club Tijuana won a vital three points by overcoming Querétaro 1-0 on Friday to stay alive in the playoff race.
Edgar Castillo began the match on the left of midfield, with 22-year-old Greg Garza starting at left back in a slight shift in tactics from Xolos coach Jorge Almirón.
But with Tijuana not really creating much going forward in a must-win game, Garza was brought off after 41 minutes and Castillo dropped to left back, where he relentlessly drove up and down the flank.
Ten minutes after halftime, Paul Arriola came on and although he was largely quiet, he was involved in Tijuana’s goal in the 76th, when he cut the ball back for Fernando Arce to feed Fidel Martínez for the goal.
US forward Herculez Gomez came off the bench in the 64th and was tidy in holding up the ball and providing the focal point that seemed to be missing from the Xolos attack.
In the 80th, Gomez took an accidental knee to the head, but he recovered and completed the game.
The win temporarily moves Xolos into ninth place in the Liga MX on 16 points from 13 games.
In Mexico’s second division, Sonny Guadarrama went 63 minutes as Necaxa defeated Ballenas 1-0 at home to move into first position, while Marco Vidal went 90 minutes for Lobos BUAP in their 2-0 home win over Delfines.
Finally, Jesus Padilla came on in the 59th and grabbed a 76th-minute equalizer for Dorados in their 1-1 tie with Atlético San Luis.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at email@example.com.