EDGAR ZUNIGA - Thursday, November 15, 2012
A goal by Greg Garza in the 86th minute powered Tijuana to crucial road victory in first leg of their playoff series with Monterrey
It all went down when Duvier Riascos fired from the top of the 18-yard box and his shot was deflected by Monterrey defender Hiram Mier, leaving Monterrey 'keeper Jonathan Orozco out of position as Garza ran in to shoot the ball into the net, setting off a spirited celebration among the Xoloitzcuintles.
Garza proved to be a super sub, coming in for Leandro Agusto in the 77th minute and scoring his second game-winner for Club Tijuana this season.
Although Joe Corona did not get any playing time, the Three Amigos were well-represented by Edgar Castillo, who played the entire game, and Garza, who, tonight, proved to be a real American hero.
As far as the game, it was arguably the most evenly played game thus far in the Liga MX playoffs, with Tijuana playing a methodical style while Monterrey put forth a gutsy effort in limiting the number of dangerous threats the Xolos could generate.
Eventually, however, Club Tijuana ground Monterrey down, and got a well-deserved victory.
Although Monterrey played hard, the outcome was viewed as a fair result, based on Tijuana's tenacity and the fact that a goal by Riascos in the 33rd minute was disallowed on a controversial call in which Club Tijuana's Javier Gandolfi was deemed offsides.
Monterrey's best chance came in the 61st minute, when Aldo de Negris took a pass with his back to the Xolos' net, spun and fired a shot that Club Tijuana 'keeper Cirilo Saucedo deflected for a Monterrey corner kick.
The action now shifts to Sunday at Estadio Caliente, where the Xolos were undefeated this season and now only need a draw to advance to the second round.