Clausura quater-final play-offs: Second leg round-up
America MEX, Monterrey, Santos Laguna & Cruz Azul advance to the semi-finals.
America defeat Pumas, Monterrey see off Tigres, Cruz Azul beat Morelia and Santos Laguna are victorious over Atlas in the Laguilla quarter finals.
In the first of the quarter finals, America welcomed Pumas UNAM to Estadio Azteca holding a slender 1-0 advantage.
They made that and their home advantage count though, as Chucho Benitez’s second half double cancelled out Robin Ramirez’s first half opener which had brought the visitors level in the tie.
But Benitez, who has been linked with Atletico Madrid in recent weeks, showed why as he held off two defenders before coolly slotting home his second and his side’s third to clinch America’s place in the semi finals.
Tigres hosted Monterrey faced with a one goal deficit to overturn, and they did just that in the 13th minute through Danilinho. The Brazilian winger chested down Carlos Salcido’s long ball, before firing an unstoppable volley into the top left hand corner.
Israel Jimenez though was the unfortunate man on the night, as he tried to volley the ball away, it inexplicably span off his foot and over the advancing Enrique Palos into his own net to put Monterrey back in front.
Danilinho saw red late on, but the game was up and Monterrey, buoyed by their CONCAF win, advance to the semi finals of Laguilla.
Morelia were hoping their late second goal would give them a way back into their game with Cruz Azul, and after Rodrigo Salinas reduced the deficit to one it looked like they might have a chance on home soil. Both sides had squandered chances before Salinas let fly with a thumping strike, which was too hot for Jose Jesus De Corona to keep out.
Morelia had a few half chances in the second half but Azul held firm to occupy the third semi final position.
An early goal from Omar Bravo was as good as it got for Atlas as they were defeated by Santos Laguna at Estadio Jalisco. Bravo tapped home after just five minutes to give them a 1-0 lead but the lead didn’t last long as Andres Renteria poked home from less than six yards.
Miguel Pinto then saw red as the home side’s hope diminished, and Darwin Quintero notched a second half double to make the score 3-1 and put his side into the last semi final slot.
Therefore the semi final line up looks like this:
Monterrey vs. America MEX
Santos Laguna vs. Cruz Azul
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