American Exports: Jose Torres, Tigres sneak into Liga MX playoffs while Club Tijuana crash out
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Jose Torres’ Tigres UANL were the big winners in the last round of games in the Liga MX regular season, scraping into the last place of the playoffs thanks to a 1-0 victory over nine-man Atlas at Estadio Jalisco on Saturday.
Torres came on in the 77th minute for Tigres, who survived a late surge from Atlas to earn the victory. The win means Tigres face reigning champions Club América in the quarterfinals, which will be played the weekend after the international break.
Club Tijuana’s postseason chances ended when Querétaro scored a last-minute winner against Pachuca, but Xolos got nowhere near the win they required anyway, collapsing 5-0 away at Club León.
Edgar Castillo started for Tijuana and went the full 90 minutes, although he was off the field for a lengthy period in the 76th with an injury.
Castillo laid the ball off to Argentine Darío Benedetto to set up an opportunity from the edge of the area two minutes after halftime, but was caught a little too high upfield for Leon’s second, with Xolos chasing the game.
Paul Arriola was the other American to see playing time for Tijuana. The 18-year-old came on in the 55th, but wasn’t involved much after Benedetto was sent off in the 59th.
Herculez Gomez and Greg Garza were both left on the bench, while US international Joe Corona didn’t make the matchday squad.
In Brazil, Freddy Adu was left out of Bahia’s squad in their 0-0 draw at home with Copa Libertadores holders Atlético Mineiro.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.