America, Tigres, Atlas share Mexican lead
MEXICO CITY (AP) — America, Tigres and Atlas share the Mexican first-division lead after the weekend’s penultimate round of the Clausura season.
America defeated Pachuca 4-2 and Tigres lost 1-0 to Monterrey on Saturday, while Atlas drew 1-1 against Puebla on Sunday.
In other games, Cruz Azul beat Santos Laguna 1-0, Morelia defeated Toluca 2-1, Pumas overcame Jaguares 3-0, San Luis downed Tijuana 1-0, Leon won 1-0 against Atlante and Chivas lost to Queretaro 2-1.
The results leave Santos Laguna, Morelia, Cruz Azul and Pumas — along with the top three — guaranteed to make the postseason playoffs, while Monterrey is likely to join them after moving three points ahead of Pachuca with a ten-goal advantage in goal difference heading into the last round of matches.
Ecuadorian striker Christian Benitez rallied America from two goals down to defeat Pachuca with three goals in 16 of the second half.
Angel Reyna had opened the scoring for Pachuca in the 12th, with Argentine Fernando Cavenaghi adding the second with a long-range shot in the 49th.
Benitez headed in his first in the 61st, got his second four minutes later and scored again in the 77th. Raul Jimenez netted America’s other goal from the penalty spot in the 68th.
Pachuca’s Daniel Arreola was sent off in the 66th for handling the ball on the goal-line.
Tigres fell from its sole lead in the league after losing to bitter rival Monterrey, which scored through a Leobardo Lopez header one minute after halftime.
Uruguayan defender Jonathan Lacerda scored the equalizer for Puebla in the 84th after Matias Vuoso headed in a cross to hand Atlas the lead three minutes earlier.
Cruz Azul’s only goal came when Christian Gimenez headed in from a corner in the 35th minute.
Jefferson Montero opened for Morelia in the 37th minute and Carlos Rodriguez equalized for Toluca just before the hour mark before Hector Mancilla grabbed the winner for Morelia in the 68th.
Javier Cortes scored in the 8th and the 88th for Pumas against Jaguares, with Paraguayan Robin Ramirez getting the other goal just before halftime.
San Luis managed a late winner through Alan Zamora five minutes from fulltime against Tijuana, which had Diego Olsina sent off in the 53rd and teammate Noe Maya also shown a red card in the 64th.
Edgar Pacheco got the winner for Leon in the 80th against Atlante.
Queretaro won against Chivas, but is almost certain to be officially relegated to the second division next weekend due to its poor goal difference.