GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Herculez Gomez had to wait patiently on the bench as Santos Laguna spurned chance after chance in Thursday’s 0-0 draw with Atlas in their Liga MX playoff quarterfinal first leg.
Eventually, coach Pedro Caixinha sent the US international on in the 82nd minute, but it was too late, even if Gomez was heavily involved in the late stages of the game.
He went close with a long-range shot in the 83rd, when he tried to catch Chilean international Miguel Pinto off his line. The 31-year-old also got involved in a fracas after he appeared to catch Pinto when the ‘keeper was down on the floor, but it was nothing more than pushing and shoving.
Prior to Gomez entering the field, Darwin Quintero had had three clear-cut chances to open the scoring for the Guerreros, but couldn’t find the back of the net. The return leg takes place on Sunday inside the Estadio Jalisco (9 pm ET, Univision Deportes).
In Costa Rica, FC Dallas loanee Moises Hernandez was in action for Saprissa in their 1-1 home draw against Cartaginés in the playoff semifinal first leg. Hernandez played the full 90 minutes in the game and the return will be on Sunday.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.