11114_free_joe_corona_2 Courtesy Club Tijuana
Liga MX

Yanks Play Leading Role in Xolos Win Over America

In her first piece for American Soccer Now, Kim Tate reports on Tijuana's 1-0 win over América Friday night. Look for more from Tate as ASN expands its coverage in 2014 and beyond.
BY Kim Tate Posted
January 11, 2014
3:40 PM
THREE AMERICANS STARTED for Tijuana and two more began the game on the bench in the Xolos' 1-0 win over América Friday night.

With Edgar Castillo lining up at his familiar left back position, Joe Corona in the midfield, and Herculez Gomez up top, Tijuana opened its 2014 Clausura campaign in impressive fashion, defeating last year's Clausura winner on a late strike by Cristian Pellerano.

Castillo played a key role in creating the goal, as his deflected pass in the 85th minute fell to the feet of Pellerano, who put it away and gave Tijuana three points in its home opener.

The diminutive fullback nearly scored in the 70th minute, taking advantage of a breakaway down the left flank into the middle. After a failed América free kick attempt, a toss from goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo ended up at the feet of Fernando Arce, who fed Castillo a long ball. Tearing down the middle and facing off one-on-one with América goalkeeper Moises Munoz, a confident Castillo shot with his left foot, but was denied when the keeper came off his line to block his attempt.

Corona, who struggled for playing time toward the end of the Apertura under former coach Jorge Almirón, made his second consecutive start for the Xolos. Like Castillo, his self-assurance was evident in his multiple attempts on goal.

"I feel really good, I feel confident," Corona said after the match, crediting his new coach, Cesar Farias, for giving him more freedom in midfield and enabling his creativity.

Corona played 80 minutes Friday and stood out on the pitch, creating chances and playing a key role throughout the contest. In the 59th minute, he beat Munoz after going one on one with Colombian central defender Aquivaldo Mosquero, but his left footed shot curled and hit the post.

Gomez played an active role across many areas on the pitch last night, going 68 minutes up top with Ecuadorian international Fidel Martinez. Their pairing is new and developing, but he was able to feed his partner liberally and came close to finishing a couple of his own.

Herculez is a great player,” Martinez told American Soccer Now after the match. “We’ve been able to create some good things up top. He covers a lot of space and I think we’ll work well together.”

Gomez' best chance came near the end of the first half, when a ball fell to his feet after a scuffle in the box. He was within close enough range to finish successfully but he lost his footing and slid into the goal, allowing the ball to be scooped up by Munoz.

Arriola came on in the 80th minute for Corona, receiving a yellow card in stoppage time during a conflict between both teams. Garza did not play.

In the U-20 match between the two teams prior to the main event, San Diego-born Alejandro Guido nabbed an assist as Tijuana's youngsters defeated America’s U-20’s 3-0.

OK, ASN readers, give us your take: Who from Tijuana would you like to see playing in Brazil this summer?

This is Kim Tate's first piece for American Soccer Now. Follow her on Twitter.

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