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November 24, 2013
Liguilla quarterfinal 1st leg roundup

#5 Toluca 3, #4 Cruz Azul 0
Toluca opened their Liguilla campaign with a dominating 3-0 win over Cruz Azul Saturday at Estadio Nemesio Diez.

Oscar Rojas opened the scoring in the 30th minute, capitalizing on a slick service from Isaac Brizuela, and La Maquina dug themselves in deeper seven minutes later, when Jair Pereira tried to clear a ball from Carlos Esquivel and misdirected the ball into his own net. Francisco Gamboa closed out the scoring in the 78th minute, with a header off a free kick.

The series concludes next Saturday at Estadio Azul.

#6 Morelia 3, #3 Leon 3
Ever Guzman scored twice in the second half to lift Morelia into a 3-3 quarterfinal draw with third-seeded Leon Saturday at Estadio Morelos.

The Esmeraldas took control of the match early, scoring all three of their goals in a 23-minute span of the first half. Luis Montes gave the visitors a 1-0 lead off a rebound in the 15th minute, and Mauro Boselli, who already had had one apparent goal called back for offside, caught netminder Federico Vilar out of position to make the score 2-0 in the 21st.

Jefferson Montero put Morelia on the board in the 28th minute, after a blistering solo run from midfield, but Elias Hernandez’s 38th-minute strike, set up by a chest-pass from Boselli, restored Leon’s two-goal margin.

Guzman entered the match for Edgar Andrade in the 63rd minute, and had his first goal nine minutes later after snagging a deflection in the penalty area. He tied the score with a short header in the 83rd, leaving the teams level on aggregate heading into next Saturday’s series finale at Estadio Nou Camp.

#8 Tigres 2, #1 America 2
Tigres played Liguilla top seeds Club America to a 2-2 draw in Sunday’s quarterfinal first leg at Estadio Universitario.

America took the early lead on a 13th-minute header by Juan Carlos Valenzuela, but needed an 89th-minute strike by Aquivaldo Mosquera to salvage the draw. Alan Pulido knotted the score 1-1 in the 30th minute, and Guido Pizarro gave Tigres a 2-1 lead off a corner kick in the 35th.

Both teams lost key players to injury, Danilinho for UANL and Miguel Layun for the Aguilas. Both had departed the match when Mosquera beat ‘keeper Enrique Palos from just off the left post for the 2-2 equalizer.

The series concludes next Sunday at Estadio Azteca.

#2 Santos Laguna 3, #7 Queretaro 2
Santos Laguna held off a late rally to edge Queretaro 3-2 in Sunday’s Liguilla quarterfinal first leg at Estadio La Corregidora.

Darwin Quintero scored in the 15th and 51st minutes, first burying a shot from outside the penalty area, then taking advantage of a turnover by Queretaro’s Edgar Hernandez, to stake the Guerreros to a 2-0 advantage. Jesus Escoboza’s 70th-minute strike padded the lead to 3-0, and turned out to be the game-winner.

Isaac Romo made a game of it for the Gallos Blancos with a 60-second brace, scoring in the 77th and 78th minutes.

Santos will host the series finale next Sunday at Estadio TSM Corona.

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