American Exports: Playoff push in peril as road woes continue for Club Tijuana ahead of CCL semifinal
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Club Tijuana’s away form continues to jeopardize the team’s chances of reaching the Liga MX postseason, with Friday’s 2-1 loss at Querétaro their 21st without a win on the road in Mexico’s first division.
Xolos started brightly with Herculez Gomez handed a golden opportunity to open the scoring early in his ninth Liga MX start of the Clausura 2014, but his shot was straight at 'keeper Edgar Hernández in the fourth minute.
Greg Garza was the other American starter at left back, but he was slightly caught out at the back post when Brazilian Ricardo da Silva stole in between the left back and 'keeper Cirilo Saucedo to net Querétaro’s winner in the 34th.
Garza and Gomez were brought off with a half-hour remaining, making way for another American in Edgar Castillo.
The Las Cruces, N.M., native cut inside the penalty area in the 75th and fell to the ground in what appeared to be a penalty, but referee Jésus Fabricio Morales judged otherwise and yellow-carded the American for simulation.
Joe Corona was left on the bench for Xolos, perhaps because head coach César Farías had one eye on Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League semifinal first leg against Cruz Azul.
“I think that we are not out [of the playoffs], but we’re not in either,” said Farías. “We’re in the fight.”
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.