Final 3 berths set in Mexico playoffs
MEXICO CITY (AP) -Tijuana, Pachuca and Jaguares have secured the last three berths in Mexico's first-division playoffs.
In key matches Sunday, Tijuana drew 1-1 to secure a place in the next round, while Cruz Azul narrowly missed out with a 2-2 draw against Mexico City rival America.
The first legs of the quarterfinals are to be played Wednesday and Thursday. Santos Laguna will play Jaguares, Monterrey hosts Tijuana, America plays Pachuca and Morelia faces Tigres.
In other weekend results: Estudiantes Tecos and Queretaro drew 1-1, Jaguares defeated Morelia 1-0, Puebla beat Tigres 2-1, Pachuca defeated Chivas 3-1, Santos Laguna won over Atlas 3-1, Monterrey beat Atlante 3-0, and Toluca defeated San Luis 2-1.
Santos Laguna finished first in the Clausura championship, the second half of Mexico's split season.
Tijuana came within a minute of defeating Pumas, but Javier Cortes curled a free kick from 20 yards (meters) to equalize. Colombian Duvier Riascos put Tijuana in the lead in the 59th minute.
In America's draw with Cruz Azul, Christian Benitez scored twice in the first 15 minutes of a frantic game in the Estadio Azteca. Jair Pereira got one back in the 25th for Cruz, which had a host of chances to equalize, before Benitez missed a penalty for America in the 40th. Emanuel Villa leveled the game in the 74th, but Cruz Azul couldn't find the goal that would have put it into the playoffs.
Segundo Castillo got the crucial goal to put Pachuca 2-1 up against Chivas in the 40th minute, but television replays showed the ball struck his hand before going into the net. Jaimen Ayovi put Pachuca into the lead in the fifth minute before Antonio Salazar equalized for Chivas in the 35th. A penalty from Pachuca captain Leobardo Lopez wrapped the game up 13 minutes from the end.
Jaguares got the victory against Morelia on Saturday thanks to a left-footed strike from Luis Estrada in the 69th minute.
Santos Laguna stormed to a 2-0 lead inside five minutes through goals from Mexico international Oribe Peralta and Colombian Darwin Quintero. Argentine Leandro Cufre pulled one back in the 21st for Atlas from the penalty spot, but Peralta added his second five minutes after halftime to settle the game.
CONCACAF Champions League winners Monterrey defeated Atlante with two second-half goals from Chilean Humberto Suazo. Abraham Carreno gave Monterrey a second-minute lead.
Tigres' 26-game unbeaten run at home ended thanks to two goals in the last seven minutes from Puebla's Luis Garcia and Aaron Padilla. Lucas Lobos opened the scoring for Tigres in the 33rd with a fierce right-footed shot that went in off the crossbar.
Uruguayan Ivan Alonso got one in each half for Toluca against San Luis, which had equalized through Facundo Pereyra in the 58th.
Already-relegated Estudiantes Tecos took the lead against Queretaro in the 64th minute through Braulio Luna, but the team's farewell game in the top division was spoiled when Christian Martinez equalized for Queretaro in the 81st.