TIJUANA - Three of Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles’ players were called up by their National Teams this FIFA break to play in the final World Cup Qualifying matches. Mexico called up Fernando Arce, United States called Edgar Castillo, and Ecuador called Fidel Martinez. Castillo and Arce both came off the bench in the second half and got assists; while Martinez stayed on the bench for Ecuador.
Edgar Castillo and the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) was the only one from the three whose team already had their World Cup ticket secured. The USMNT took on Jamaica at in their final home game of the qualifications and got a 2-0 win. Castillo was brought into the game in the 65th minute and had a good performance; setting up Jozy Altidore for a simple tap in goal.
Ecuador took a huge step towards the World Cup with their 1-0 victory over Uruguay. Both teams were tied on points with Ecuador in 4th place and Uruguay in 5th. The win almost certainly leaves Ecuador with the 4th and final direct ticket to the World Cup and Uruguay in 5th place forcing them into a playoff series. Fidel Martinez saw the entire game from the bench.
Fernando Arce and the Mexican National Team found themselves in a must win situation against Panama to keep their hopes at a 4th place finish alive. El Tri managed a 2-1 win over the Panamanias at home. Fernando Arce was subbed into the game in the 76th in substitution for Giovani Dos Santos. Arce is the one who gave the pass to Raul Jimenez before the young striker popped the ball into the air and bicycle kicked the ball into the bottom corner of the goal to give Mexico the win.
All three players will be back in action on Tuesday night; Edgar Castillo and the USMNT will travel to Panama, Fernando Arce and El Tri will travel to Costa Rica where a win with a combination of a Honduras loss could send Mexico to the World Cup directly. A draw is enough to secure the playoff series for the Mexican side. Fidel Martinez and Ecuador will visit Chile in their final qualification match, a draw is enough to send Ecuador directly to the World Cup.