Mexico: Pachuca maintains favorites role; Toluca upset
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- The two favorites to win Mexico's first-division football playoffs - Pachuca and Toluca - experienced very different results on Thursday.
Pachuca backed up its role as one of the contenders, defeating Jaguares 3-1 on goals by Paul Aguilar, Jose Francisco Torres and Emilio Mora. Toluca went down 1-0 at Ciudad Juarez on a 56th-minute penalty by Manuel Perez.
Aguilar opened the scoring for Pachuca in the third minute with Torres making it 2-0 in the 21st. Mora added the final goal two minutes from time. Neri Cardozo scored in the 21st for Jaguares.
Juarez could pull off one of the major upsets in recent years if it reaches the semifinals. Just three weeks ago, the Indios were fighting to stay in the first division, facing relegation to a lower division.
The second-leg in the home and away quarterfinal series will be played this weekend, when the number of teams will be narrowed to four.
Stadiums for the first-leg matches were mostly full after Mexican health authorities again allowed fans in the stands after the swine flu outbreak, which had shuttered stadiums from the first division to the lowly third.
In first-leg matches on Wednesday, Tecos and Puebla picked up victories. Tecos beat Pumas 2-0 and Puebla defeated Rayados 3-1.
Pachuca is seeded No. 1 followed by Toluca and Pumas.
Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.