May 4, 2014
Liguilla quarterfinal first leg roundup
Cruz Azul 2, Leon 2 (Leon advances on road goals after 3-3 aggregate)
Eighth-seeded Leon knocked #1 Cruz Azul out of the Liguilla quarterfinals with Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Estadio Azul. The Esmeraldas took the series on the road goals tiebreaker.
Leon rallied from two goals down on Saturday. Mauro Boselli started the comeback in the 41st minute, with Edwin Hernandez setting the table. Luis Montes scored the crucial second goal in the 58th.
La Maquina appeared to be cruising into the semifinals after unanswered goals by Mariano Pavone in the 11th minute and Mauro Formica ten minutes later. Pavone scored off the rebound after netminder William Yarbrough blocked a shot, and Rojas converted off a cross from Joao Rojas. Marco Fabian cracked a late shot off the post, ending Cruz Azul’s hopes of advancing to the semifinals.
Santos Laguna 3, America 1 (Santos Laguna advances on road goals after 6-6 aggregate)
Santos Laguna is headed to the Liguilla semifinals after defeating Club America 3-1 Saturday at Estadio TSM Corona. The result left the aggregate-goals quarterfinal tied at 6-6. The Guerreros advance on road goals (2).
An own goal by America’s Juan Carlos Valenzuela put Santos on the board in the 27th minute, and was the game’s only goal until Ribair Rodriguez connected for the Guerreros in the 83rd minute. Three minutes later, Andres Renteria scored to give Santos a 6-5 aggregate lead. Rubens Sambueza responded for America in the 89th minute, knotting the aggregate score but leaving the Aguilas a tiebreaker short of the semis.
The Guerreros will face Pachuca in the semifinals.
Toluca 3, Tijuana 1 (Toluca advances 3-1)
Toluca advanced to the Liguilla semifinals by a 3-1 aggregate margin after defeating Tijuana by the same score Sunday at Estadio Nemesio Diez.
The Diablos’ Antonio Rios scored the first goal of the quarterfinal series from a sharp angle in the 30th minute. Dario Benedetto leveled the score – and gave the advantage to the Xolos – with a header in the 48th minute, but the rest of the match belonged to Toluca. Miguel Ponce made the score 2-1 I the 59th minute and Edgar Benitez scored the capper in the 88th.
Toluca will face Leon in the semifinals.
Pachuca 4, Pumas 2 (Pachuca advances, 5-3)
Enner Valencia came through with a hat trick to lead Pachuca to a 4-1 win over Pumas Sunday at Estadio Olimpico Universitario and into the Liguilla semifinals by a 5-3 aggregate score.
The Tuzos will face Santos Laguna in the next round.
Valencia scored in the 11th, 24th and 46th minutes, leaving Pachuca up 3-2 even after first-half goals by Pumas’ Efrain Velarde (15) and Josecarlos Van Rankin (32). Valencia’s first tally came off a left-footed shot, the second was pushed into the net from just off the line, and the third off a free kick.
Hugo Rodriguez closed out Pachuca’s scoring in the 54th minute.