MEXICO: Pumas, Morelia win at home

May, 15, 2011
5/15/11
9:36
PM PT

Pumas UNAM and Morelia took care of business at home Sunday, posting emphatic victories to advance to the Primera Division's Clausura final.


Pumas overcame a slow start, with goalkeeper Alejandro Palacios making three huge saves in the first 23 minutes, to topple Guadalajara, 2-0, making for a 3-1 aggregate triumph in the two-games, total-goals semifinal series.

Morelia stunned Cruz Azul, 3-0, rallying from a two-goal disadvantage after the first leg to advance on 3-2 aggregate.

The final is tentatively slated for Thursday in Morelia and next Sunday in Mexico City, but Mexico's soccer federation will finalize plans Monday.

Rafael Marquez Lugo erased Morelia's deficit with goals in the ninth and 12th minutes, then set up Jaime Lozano for a late strike moments after Joel Huiqui made a series-saving stop on the goal line. Had the game ended 2-0 (and the series at 2-2), Morelia would have advanced as the higher seed.

Javier Cortes curled a free kick inside the right post just before halftime to give Pumas command, and Dante Lopez tallied in the 76th minute following a superb Dario Veron run.

Pumas, which was atop the regular-season standings through most of the winter/spring Clausura, was expected to push through after a 1-1 draw in the first leg Thursday in Zapopan, Jalisco. Morelia's triumph was not anticipated, not after Cruz Azul scored twice in the first half in a 2-0 first-leg win.

Sunday's game in Morelia turned ugly at the end, after a fan ran onto the field and tried to shake Cruz Azul captain Gerardo Torrado's hand. The Mexican national team veteran refused the request, and his teammates attacked the fan. That prompted some Morelia players to intervene, and a brawl quickly broke out, with Cruz Azul's Christian Gimenez trading punches with the fans and two Cruz Azul goalkeepers, backup Yosgart Gutierrez and starter Jose de Jesus Corona, attacking a member of Morelia's technical staff.

Referee Francisco Chacon red-carded Gimenez, his Cruz Azul teammates Julio Cesar Dominguez and Isaac Romo, and Morelia's Miguel Sabah. Corona, who escaped punishment, faces a lengthy ban for head-butting the Morelia staffer.

  • PRIMERA DIVISION

SEMIFINALS, FIRST LEG
Thursday

Guadalajara 1 (O. Arellano 89), Pumas UNAM 1 (E. Velarde 51)
Cruz Azul 2 (C. Gimenez 27, E. Villa 45), Morelia 0

SEMIFINALS, SECOND LEG
Sunday
Pumas UNAM 2 (J. Cortes 43, D. Lopez 76), Guadalajara 0
+ Pumas UNAM advances on aggregate, 3-1
Morelia 3 (Marquez Lugo 9, 12, J. Lozano 89), Cruz Azul 0
+ Morelia advances on aggregate, 3-2

FINAL, FIRST LEG
Thursday
Pumas UNAM at Morelia, 7 p.m.

FINAL, SECOND LEG
Sunday
Morelia at Pumas UNAM, 10 a.m.
Note: Mexican federation still to confirm dates/times


  • LIGA DE ASCENSO

PROMOTION FINAL, FIRST LEG
Thursday

Club Tijuana at Irapuato, TBA

PROMOTION FINAL, SECOND LEG
Sunday
Irapuato at Club Tijuana, 1 p.m.
Note: Mexican federation still to confirm dates/times


  • COPA LIBERTADORES

QUARTERFINALS, SECOND LEG
Thursday, May 19

Jaguares (Mexico) at Cerro Porteņo (Paraguay), 6:30 p.m.
Note: 1-1 after first leg

All times Pacific

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