American Exports: Michael Orozco Fiscal, Puebla inch closer to Liga MX playoff spot
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Club Tijuana missed an opportunity to close in on the last Liga MX playoff spot on Sunday with a 0-0 tie at Toluca, while Michael Orozco Fiscal’s Puebla moved a step closer to the postseason with a 2-0 home win over Atlas.
Paul Arriola and Edgar Castillo were the American starters for Xolos, who failed to take advantage against a Diablos Rojos side that was forced to play with 10 men after Gerardo Rodríguez was sent off in the 33rd minute for a late challenge.
Arriola was less involved than he’d would liked on the right wing and had a decent opportunity in the 58th, but his shot was blocked by his own player. The 18-year-old made way for Herculez Gomez in the 68th as Tijuana looked to snatch a winner, but Toluca was well organized and kept Xolos at bay.
Greg Garza was the other American involved, coming off the bench in the 81st and combining with Castillo down the left. The Texan survived a penalty shout in injury time when the ball seemed to strike him on the hand.
Tijuana are now four points off eighth-place Querétaro with just three games to go in the regular season.
DaMarcus Beasley missed out for Puebla due to what the club told MLSsoccer.com was a tight hamstring, but he was in consideration for minutes at least until Saturday.
Orozco Fiscal recovered from a knock he picked up on US duty and went the full 90 minutes for Puebla at right back, keeping the ball well and completing a very high pass rate as La Franja cruised to victory against the Liga MX’s last placed team.
The win moves Puebla into ninth, just three points off the playoffs.
Jose Torres’ Tigres UANL defeated Atlante 3-1 on Saturday, but the Texan midfielder was suspended for the game and instead captained the Monterrey club’s Under-20 side.
In Mexico’s second division, Ventura Alvarado started and went 53 minutes for Necaxa in their 2-2 tie on Friday at Correcaminos to stay in third place after weekend matches. Teammate Sonny Guadarrama came on for the last eight minutes of the game.
Marco Vidal went 90 minutes for Lobos BUAP, who fell 3-1 to Universidad de Guadalajara on Friday, while Jesus Padilla also completed the full game with Dorados in their 0-0 draw with Estudiantes Tecos.
On Sunday in Central America, Moises Hernandez wasn’t involved in Saprissa’s 5-1 win over Limón that took them into the top spot of Costa Rica’s first division.
Finally, in Brazil, Freddy Adu again didn’t make Bahia’s squad for their 1-0 home loss on Sunday to São Paulo.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.