US youth international Paul Arriola came off the bench to spark Club Tijuana's 3-1 win over Cruz Azul in Liga MX play on Saturday night, entering the game at halftime and hitting the net mere minutes later to clinch a valuable road win at Estadio Azul in Mexico City.
The well-struck goal arrived almost exactly two years after Arriola's last tally in Liga MX play and continued the Californian's solid start to the new season. His fellow Yank Michael Orozco logged a full 90 minutes at the heart of the Xolos' defense.
US national teamers Joe Corona and Ventura Alvarado were both centrally involved in Friday night's twin bill of league action south of the border. Corona started for Veracruz and assisted on Julio Furch's 7th-minute opener as Los Tiburones Rojos build an early 2-0 lead over Queretaro. But Corona was replaced by Alejandro Berber just before halftime and Veracruz had to settle for a 2-2 home draw. Jonathan Bornstein was an unused substitute for the visitors.
Ventura Alvarado took up his usual starting center back spot – and earned a yellow card in the final minutes – for Club América as Las Aguilas notched an impressive 2-0 road defeat of Santos Laguna via a Dario Benedetto brace. América have gotten off to a 3-0-2 start in the Apertura and sit in fourth place; Veracruz presently occupy second place.
Elsewhere in Mexico, Jose Torres started for Tigres and logged an assist on the second goal of Andre-Pierre Gignac's hat trick in a 4-1 victory over Chiapas, while Edgar Castillo started and went the full 90 for Monterrey in their 4-1 defeat of Dorados de Sinaloa.
Greg Garza was an unused substitute for Atlas in a 2-1 defeat of Puebla, and William Yarbrough again had to watch from the bench as Club León won a wild 4-3 shootout over Morelia, with León manager Juan Antonio Pizzi preferring Christian Martinez as his starting goalkeeper thus far this season.