American Exports: Greg Garza starts as Club Tijuana maintain Liga MX playoff hopes
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Club Tijuana and their American contingent retain a glimmer of hope of making the Liga MX postseason after a 4-1 victory at home over last-place Atlante on Friday.
Left back Greg Garza was the only American starter for Tijuana, with coach Jorge Almirón preferring him to Edgar Castillo, who came on at halftime for Fidel Martínez and played in tandem with the Texan down the left flank in the second half.
Garza was solid in the victory and went close to scoring in the 74th with a shot that sailed just wide of the left post.
Castillo added impetus to Tijuana’s attack, with the team going in at halftime at 1-1 and in need of a victory.
US international Herculez Gomez was the other American to get minutes for Xolos. Gomez came off the bench in the 78th for Dario Benedetto – who scored two goals – and was in the thick of the action immediately, going close to scoring twice, once from outside the box in the 86th and the second with a shot one minute later.
Paul Arriola was an unused substitute for Tijuana, while Joe Corona wasn’t in the 18.
Even with the three points, Tijuana are still unlikely to make the playoffs and will be hoping Chiapas, Tigres and Veracruz all slip up in their matches this weekend.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.