Mexican League Roundup, Nov. 17

Christian Gimenez scored twice as Cruz Azul came from behind to

win 2-1 at UNAM Pumas in the first leg of the Mexican football

league playoffs Wednesday.

San Luis and America drew 0-0 in the other playoff


Dante Lopez put Pumas ahead against Cruz Azul in the 20th minute

of the Mexico City derby, but Gimenez equalized with a long-range

free kick in the 33rd and scored the winner with a volley in the


Cruz Azul finished top of the standings during the regular

season and is among the favorites to win the Apertura 2010


The other playoff first legs will be played Thursday, with

Pachuca hosting Monterrey and Santos visiting Chiapas.

Lopez fired Pumas ahead when he took a pass from Martin Bravo on

the edge of the box and shot low under keeper Jesus Corona.

Gimenez equalized just over ten minutes later with a free kick

from around 40 yards (meters) that seemed to wrong-foot Pumas

keeper Sergio Bernal.

In the second half, the Argentine forward hit the winner with a

first-time volley from the corner of the box that flew into the top


Cruz Azul is in a prime position to progress. If the score over

the two legs is tied, Cruz Azul will go through by virtue of

finishing in a higher league position than Pumas.

America has the same advantage, after holding San Luis to a

scoreless draw in the other playoff quarterfinal.

Daniel Marquez and Vicente Sanchez had early chances for

America, while San Luis forward Wilmer Aguirre saw his shot saved

by Guillermo Ochoa.

America defended deep in the second half, but had the woodwork

and Ochoa to thank for avoiding defeat. ressor Moreno hit the post

for San Luis in the 78th minute and Aguirre struck the crossbar a

few minutes before the final whistle, with Ochoa smothering the


The return legs of the Cruz Azul-Pumas and America-San Luis

matches are scheduled for Saturday.