GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Club Tijuana’s perfect record in the Copa Libertadores came to short, sharp end on Wednesday when defending champions Corinthians defeated the Liga MX champions 3-0 in São Paulo, Brazil.
Joe Corona started in a central midfield trio, playing the furthest forward of the three. The US international (above, right) provided a key pass to send Fernando Arce clear down the wing for Tijuana’s best first-half chance in the 24th minute.
Los Xolos started brightly, but once O Timão struck, there was no way back for Corona or Tijuana. Alexandre Pato opening the scoring in the 27th and Paolo Guerrero doubled the Club World Cup champions’ lead 10 minutes later.
Both Corinthians goals came down the right side of the pitch where the injured Edgar Castillo would usually have been playing for Tijuana. When Greg Garza came on in the 63rd minute, he shored up that side of the pitch, but couldn’t stop Paulinho adding Corinthians’ third goal in the 82nd.
Tijuana remain in first place in Group 5 of the Libertadores, two points in front of Corinthians after four games.
There was better news for DaMarcus Beasley, who scored in Puebla’s 1-1 draw at Pachuca in the Copa MX, as La Franja went through to the semis after a 5-4 penalty-shootout victory.
Beasley received the ball from Isaac Romo inside the area, controlled and netted in the 55th minute to put Puebla into the lead. Michael Orozco Fiscal also started for Puebla but received his second yellow card in the 89th minute for a cynical foul and was sent off.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.