MLS pair crash out
Mexican sides dominate CONCACAF Champions CupPosted: Thursday April 17, 2003 5:46 AM
NEW YORK (AP) -- Three Mexican teams clinched berths in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup and another took a major step toward claiming the fourth spot.
Toluca, Morelia and Necaxa each earned spots in the last four while America took a 4-0 lead over Alajuelense of Costa Rica after the first leg Wednesday. The second leg is scheduled for next Wednesday.
Toluca beat Municipal of Guatemala 4-2 on aggregate while Morelia topped the Columbus Crew 6-2 and Necaxa beat the Los Angeles Galaxy 6-2.
In Toluca, Mexico, the hosts got goals from Vicente Sanchez and Emmanuel Ruiz to beat Municipal of Guatemala 2-1 in the second leg.
Gonzalo Romero had given Municipal the lead in the eighth minute, heading in a centering pass from the left side after it was deflected by Toluca goalkeeper Mario Albarran.
Ruiz equalized in the 25th minute, heading a long setup pass from Emilio Viades into the net's left corner, and Danchez beat two defenders to a rebound in the 41st and pushed the ball into an open net from the left side.
Toluca will face either America or Alajuelense in semifinals, which are scheduled for April 30 and May 17.
In Necaxa, Mexico, Rodolfo Espinoza scored twice as the hosts beat defending Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1.
Chris Albright got the first goal, connecting with a Jesus Ochoa cross to take the lead in the 32nd minute.
Espinoza got his first goal just before the halftime whistle as former United States international Alexi Lalas took him down in the area. Espinoza converted the spot kick.
Espinoza then beat Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman midway through the second half for the match-winner.
Necaxa will face Morelia in the semifinals. The Galaxy won the CONCACAF Champions Cup in 2000.
In Columbus, Ohio, Edson Buddle and Jeff Cunningham scored as the Crew downed Morelia 2-0, but still lost on aggregate.
Buddle opened the scoring in the 13th minute, converting a corner kick from Guatemalan international Fredy Garcia. Buddle, who received his full international cap for the United States last month, put his header over Morelia goalkeeper Miguel Fuentes.
Cunningham added the second goal from the penalty spot as defender Rodrigo Prieto was whistled for handling the ball in the area in the 28th.
The Crew are the defending U.S. Open Cup champions.
In Mexico City, Uruguayan forward Marcelo Lipatin scored twice to give four-time champion America a huge lead in the two-leg series.
Lipatin got his first goal in the 72nd minute, taking a pass from team captain Cuauhtemoc Blanco and punching a close-range offering into the center of the net. He scored again in the 84th.
Argentine Hugo Norberto Castillo got America's first goal in the 50th minute, rocketing the ball past Alajuelense goalkeeper Alvaro Mesen.
Blanco made it 4-0 in the 88th.
Alajuelense had its best chance to get on the board in the 62nd minute, when forward Rolando Fonseca shook his defender and fired a looping shot from outside the box that sailed over the goal.
America last won the CONCACAF Champions Cup in 1992. Alajuelense has won it once, in 1996.