American Exports: Joe Corona stars as Club Tijuana sneak back into playoff position

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Club Tijuana took a bug step towards the Liga MX playoffs on Friday with a 3-1 victory over second-place Toluca at Estadio Caliente in the 14th round of matches in the Clausura championship.

Attacking left back Edgar Castillo was the only American to go 90 minutes, but it was Joe Corona who made the biggest impact in the 83 minutes he was on the field.

The No. 15 from San Diego was a busy presence on the left of midfield both in breaking up Toluca’s play and on the attacking side, drawing a foul from Paulo da Silva to win a penalty for Xolos in the 73rd minute, with Cristián Pellerano converting Tijuana’s third.

The other American involved was Greg Garza, who entered the field in the 90th minute, while Herculez Gomez was left on the bench.

The victory moves Tijuana – who wore green shirts in a publicity campaign in support of the Mexican national team – temporarily into sixth place, with three games of the regular season remaining for the border club.

In Mexico’s second division, Sonny Guadarrama and Ventura Alvarado both went 90 minutes in Necaxa’s 0-0 draw at home with Leones Negros.

Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at tom.marshall.mex@gmail.com.