Matias Vuoso and Angel Reyna scored second-half goals as America defeated Pumas 2-0 on Sunday to grab the final spot for the Mexican Clausura quarterfinals despite playing most of the second half with 10 men.
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Vuoso scored from a header in the 59th and Reyna clinched the win in the 90th from a cross by Adolfo Rosinei for America to seal second place in Group 2 and become the sixth seeded team in the quarterfinals.
Also on Sunday, Elias Hernandez scored in the 73rd and 84th minutes as Morelia beat Puebla 2-0.
The quarterfinal matches are: Tigres against Chivas, Pumas versus reigning champion Monterrey, Morelia will play America and Atlante will face Cruz Azul.
Reyna finished the season as the leading scorer with 13 goals.
”I’m happy for the team because despite playing one man down we kept fighting, closed our mouths and worked hard,” Reyna said. ”The scoring title, it’s not mine – it belongs to everybody.”
It will a tough week for America, which will play Santos on Tuesday in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores. On Thursday, the team will play Morelia at home and will then play Sunday at Estadio Morelos.
The official schedule will be revealed on Monday by the Mexican football federation.
”It was a tough match and we needed a win,” America goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa said. ”We deserve to be in the playoffs and we have a hard challenge coming our way, but everything is coming along.”