Garza scores late to lift Tijuana to playoffs win


Club Tijuana was on the brink of leaving Monterrey and heading home for the second leg of their Liga MX playoffs series with a favorable 0-0 draw.

Then, Greg Garza came through with the timeliest of goals to make things even better.

Garza lifted Tijuana to a 1-0 road win over Monterrey in the first leg of their quarterfinals series by scoring a clutch goal in the 86th minute of a match that seemed destined to end scoreless. A shot from a teammate was luckily deflected into Garza’s path, but the 21-year-old did well to place it home from close range to give Xolos a big advantage on aggregate (away goals are counted in Liga MX if a series is even after both legs).

For Garza, the goal was just the second of his fledgling career and came despite him having been on the field for just eight minutes after entering as a substitute.

The former U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team defender, Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo and Tijuana have enjoyed a strong Apertura campaign, and they are hoping it ends with a championship. Xolos host Monterrey in the second leg of the series on Sunday.

Here is Garza’s goal:

What do you think of Garza’s goal? Do you see it being the decisive strike in this series? Think Xolos have a real shot at winning the Liga MX title?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Edwin in LA

    I think it will be huge as the away goal does count in the Mexican playoffs now….

    Good job on him not and his teammates not giving up on the play…from the player who went all the way to the goal line to Arce who tried to get to his cross and Riascos who took the shot that ended up being deflected towards Garza…. I think Xolos go thru…half me wants them in the final, the other half doesn’t because it would be weird having him, Corona and Castillo vs our MLS sides lol


    • Brolo

      Important goal, but how does it help the aggregate tie breaker? It was only one goal so if Monterrey scores two or more and win they’re done.


      • bigprof

        all the reason why TJ should fly in Jason Kries to give a motivational speech on not taking a lead for granted


  • eric wild

    Thanks for covering this. Like many others, I love to hear about the Yanks Abroad, but I also like the Mexi League. Who won the Toluca/Chivas game? Please cover the Mexi league more. You cover EPL regular season, at least Mexico can get full coverage for liguilla. I love your site and purdy much use it as a one stop shop, but obviously this is lacking and I don’t want to go elsewhere.


    • Edwin in LA

      Well here’s some help…lol Chivas last 2-1….Toluca went up 2-0 in the 1st half and then the keeper committed a foul in the box earning Chivas a PK and a yellow for him….so Toluca goes back home for the 2nd leg with a 1 goal advantage but an away goal…..


      • eric wild

        Hey thanks Edwin, Ives has your check in the mail. Hell, they cover the USWNT and no one cares!


      • Eric

        I care about the USWNT as well.

        Also, it’s an American soccer site. Ives doesn’t have to cover Liga MX if he doesn’t feel like it. He covers the EPL a little mostly because of the amount of Americans playing in it and because of how many people in the US follow it as well.


      • solles

        it’s a soccer site “with an american voice”, certainly barca and the premier league get enough coverage, i agree there should be more mexican league coverage.


  • Heft

    Monterrey will have a tough time beating the Aztec Dogs at home. The Mexican playoffs have been a fun diversion this week, since there is no MLS anymore.

    I’m happy to see the gringos doing well in Liga MX.


  • ChrisTheLSUTiger

    “Do you see it being the decisive strike in this series?”
    Well yes Ives, yes I do.


  • Jose S.

    Just wanted to point out that the Mexican League doesn’t use the away goals rule.

    If it ends up tied on aggregate, the team with the most points in the season (AKA the higher seed) advances.

    So a huge goal for Tijuana because now Monterrey has to win by 2 on the road to advance.


  • Felix

    From a USMNT perspective. I think most US fans would love to see Fabian Johnson pushed up to the left midfield spot and have another fullback option step in on the left side. The issue has been no one is good enough to play LB at the international level consistently. Some people have continued to trumpet the Eric Lichaj idea, even though he doesn’t even get consistent minutes with a bad Aston Villa team. Which leaves us with Greg Garza. He is a natural LB, and has a good pedigree with his extensive academy training at Sporting Lisbon. If he continues to get minutes at the position, will JK call him in and give him a shot at LB. Perhaps the ’13 Gold Cup, where I believe we are sending a B side, will be his shot.


    • HoboMike

      I wouldn’t mind this idea, but we seem to have some promising wingers who can play on both sides. Zusi, Gatt, Shea. The question would be is Johnson better at wing than more than Garza being better at Johnson at LB (if that makes sense).


    • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo

      woah, woah woah!
      Garza is fine…but not an international caliber left back yet. Give the guy some time. A timely goal, yes. But he is a 2nd stringer in Tijuana behind Castillo for many reasons, not the least of which that Castillo is better.
      While I agree it would be interesting to see F. Johnson in the midfield with LD on the other wing, I don’t think Klinsmann will go there.
      Garza? Heck, Heath Pearce would be a better fit as an LB.


  • American

    I am an American, and would love more Liga MX coverage. I wish I could speak Spanish to understand the announcers. Maybe I need to get some Spanish lessons.

    Good job to these young men.


  • Hogatroge

    Good to see him getting a few minutes here and there and succeeding. Shame he’s competing with another USMNTer for the same position.

    Hopefully he continues to develop and gives us more options at fullback in a few years.


  • Gary Page

    Pretty amazing climb for the Xolos who were second division only a couple of years ago. Especially so considering the caliber of their opponent and Monterrey’s recent history.


  • primoone

    Youtube Antonio Mohamed…My favorite all-time player of the Primera. The guy was silly with futbol skills.


  • Pingback: Tijuana advance to Liga MX semis after draw with Monterrey | Soccer By Ives

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