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 quarterfinal.
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 74th.
Cruz Azul finished top of the standings during the regular season and is among the favorites to win the Apertura 2010 title.
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 corner.
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 rebound.
The return legs of the Cruz Azul-Pumas and America-San Luis matches are scheduled for Saturday.