GUADALAJARA, Mexico – A couple of the usual American suspects in Latin America were not involved for their teams this weekend, but there were some important victories involving Yanks down south.
José Torres’ Pachuca had gone four games without tasting victory, but got a last-minute goal to beat Atlante 3-2 on Saturday.
Torres put in a 64-minute shift in the center of Pachuca’s midfield, but was hauled off to be replaced by striker Guillermo Franco after Atlante went down to 10 men and los Tuzos searched for the three points.
The win moved Pachuca into sixth place in the Mexican Primera División and on course for the playoffs with just six games left of the regular season.
A berth in the postseason for Michael Orozco Fiscal’s San Luis may be a big ask, but the team’s 1-0 road victory on Sunday over DaMarcus Beasley’s Puebla was certainly welcome relief; it was the team’s first win since Jan. 13.
Orozco Fiscal played the full 90 in the heart of the Gladiadores defense, getting booked for a mistimed tackle early in the game, but putting in another solid performance.
It was San Luis’ second clean sheet in two games, both since Orozco Fiscal was reinstated into the starting XI.
The game at Estadio Cuauhtémoc wasn’t rosy for Beasley, whose Puebla side is on the slide after five straight defeats. Beasley played the full game on the left wing for La Franja, but poor finishing means Puebla coach Juan Carlos Osorio’s job could be on the line, according to various press reports.
In the Estadio Universitario on Saturday evening, only Edgar Castillo was involved for Club Tijuana in their 1-0 loss against defending champions Tigres UANL. Castillo again completed the full game, causing problems for the Tigres defense down the left flank.
Jonathan Bornstein didn’t make the 18 for Tigres, nor did Greg Garza for los Xolos, while teammate Joe Corona is away with the US Under-23s.
Santos Laguna’s in-form striker Herculez Gomez was left back in Torreón with three other regular starters for the team’s 1-0 win against Cruz Azul on Saturday. The coaching staff decided to rest the players due to the busy schedule and with the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series against Toronto FC coming up in a little more than a week.
Further south, Jeff Cunningham missed out on Comunicaciones’ 2-0 win against Marquense, which takes them to the top of the Guatemalan league. Cunningham injured his right knee in training during the week but should be ready for Wednesday, when Comunicaciones play Municipal in Guatemala’s clásico.
In Bolivia, Alejandro Meleán went 90 minutes for Oriente Petrolero’s 2-2 tie with San José.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. He can be reached via email@example.com