Former US international striker Herculez Gomez scored on Friday on his return to Puebla, the club with which he won the Liga MX goal-scoring title in 2010, but it wasn’t enough as La Franja fell 3-1 away in a key relegation match-up against Veracruz.
Number 9 Gomez came off the bench at halftime and was on hand at the back post to nod in 12 minutes from the end, after a long throw from Michael Orozco from the right was headed into his path by Cuauhtémoc Blanco.
The goal made it 2-1 and Puebla was piling on the pressure towards the end – particularly through Orozco’s long throws – but Veracruz held on and netted the third on a late breakaway.
US defender Orozco went the full 90 minutes at right back as Puebla slipped below Chivas into last place in the Liga MX relegation table.
Up in Tijuana, left back Greg Garza was effective in nulling the threat of Colombian Darwin Quintero, as Xolos overcame reigning champion Club América 1-0.
Garza tamed his attacking intent against a stacked Club América offense, instead dropping back to mark Quintero tightly over the 90 minutes in a dominant performance.
Dayro Moreno netted the only goal for Tijuana three minutes before halftime, with Las Aguilas striker Oribe Peralta having his penalty saved by Cirilo Saucedo in the 52nd.
There was more good news for US national team fans, with Joe Corona named on the Tijuana bench for first time since Oct. 18, when he broke his fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot.
Ventura Alvarado was an unused sub for Club América.
In Friday’s earlier match, 20-year-old Jesus Vazquez came on in the 80th for Leones Negros for his third appearance in the Liga MX for the Guadalajara university side, but a late penalty from Sinha handed Querétaro a 1-0 home victory and the three points.