Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
It wasn’t as bad as the final 5-0 scoreline, but Americans Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona both started in Tijuana’s debacle at Cruz Azul.
After winning the Apertura in 2012, Tijuana has had a rough go of it in the Clausura. The Xolos now find themselves 12th in the table and winless in their last six league matches.
Both Corona and Castillo were culpable in the first two goals Tijuana gave up before the team completely collapsed in the last five minutes of play leading to the embarrassing final score.
On the first goal, Castillo was caught out of position as Cruz Azul came down Tijuana’s left side for the opening goal in the 32nd minute of play.
Then, just after the halftime break, a bad giveaway off a poor first touch by Corona led to a Cruz Azul counterattack for the game’s second goal.
Both Americans had mixed games. Corona didn’t get on the ball much, but when he did, he created a few chances. He easily could have earned a penalty when a shot he took just outside the 18 in the 11th minute went off a Cruz Azul defender. He also flashed a header over the crossbar on a Tijuana corner kick in the 31st minute and started two good Xolos movements by switching the point of attack.
Corona did his part defensively with two good clearances while defending corner kicks and with Castillo, put together a nice six-pass combination for Tijuana resulting in one of their better opportunities. Corona also got wrecked on the edge of the box in the first half which should have earned Tijuana a dangerous free-kick, but the advantage was given by the official and no call was made.
For his part, Castillo played okay. Still wearing his protective facemask from the facial fractures he suffered several weeks ago, Castillo was eager to get forward and joined the attack often. He bombed forward on a run in the 17th minute, but after getting all the way into the attacking third, didn’t find anyone with his pass. Besides getting caught out of position on Cruz Azul’s first goal, Castillo also allowed two dangerous counterattacks off his giveaways in the 24th and 60th minutes.
The only good news to come out of the game for USMNT fans was the fact that the match was broadcast in English on ESPN2 as part of the network’s new English coverage of Liga MX.
American Greg Garza did not get into the game for Tijuana.