Mexican League Wrap, Apr 16
UANL Tigres booked a place in the Mexican Clausura championship playoffs Saturday after Damian Alvarez secured a 1-0 win at Chiapas.
Alvarez controlled winger Danilinho's chipped cross to the penalty spot with his chest before volleying the ball into the top corner in the 78th minute to seal the points.
The win guaranteed Tigres a berth in the end-of-season playoffs used in Mexico to decide the league champion in each half-season tournament. UNAM Pumas and Morelia have also secured places among the eight teams that qualify. Most teams have two matches left to play in the regular season.
Tigres has 29 points atop Group 1, while Chiapas is last in both Group 3 and the general table with 11 points.
Also Saturday, it was: Guadalajara 0, Santos 1; Puebla 2, Cruz Azul 0; Monterrey 1, Morelia 1; Pachuca 1, Atlas 2; Atlante 1, Necaxa 1; San Luis 1, Toluca 2.
Christian Bermudez's penalty equalized for Atlante at home against Necaxa and condemned the visiting side to relegation after one season in the top flight.
Arturo Ledesma had given Necaxa the lead in the 20th minute, but the team from Aguascalientes was unable to protect the lead and can not catch Queretaro in the table of average points used to decide relegation.
Atlante is top of Group 2 with 23 points.
Guadalajara needed a home win against Santos to reach the playoffs, but Hector Reynoso missed a second-half penalty that had to be taken three times after the referee ruled players had encroached on the first two attempts.
Reynoso had scored with the first effort, had the second kick saved by goalkeeper Miguel Becerra and finally hit the crossbar to spurn Chivas' best chance of breaking the deadlock.
The miss proved costly as Felipe Baloy struck a left-footed volley from the edge of the box following a stoppage-time corner to give Santos the win.
The result left Guadalajara in second in Group 1 with 24 points, while Santos is fourth in the same section with 20.
In Monterrey, Luis Gabriel Rey scored a stoppage-time penalty as Morelia rescued a 1-1 draw at defending champion Rayados.
Neri Cardozo had put Monterrey ahead with a goal in the 28th minute.
Monterrey stayed third in Group 1 with 22 points, while Morelia is safely in the playoffs with 28 points in Group 2.
Elsewhere, Felix Borja and Walter Jimenez scored first-half goals as Puebla kept faint hopes of a playoff spot alive with a 2-0 home win against Cruz Azul.
Puebla moved to fourth spot on 17 points in Group 3, behind third-placed Cruz Azul by seven points.
Substitute Raul Nava scored the day's third stoppage-time winner with a header in the 2nd minute of added time to give Toluca a 2-1 victory at San Luis.
Manuel De La Torre had given Toluca the lead in the 82nd, with Amaury Ponce leveling in the 86th, both from free kicks.
The win pushed Toluca to second place in Group 2 with 20 points, ahead of Atlas on goal difference. San Luis has 17 points in the same group.
Meanwhile, Alfredo Moreno's late double helped Atlas rally to a 2-1 win at Pachuca to move to 20 points in third place in Group 2. Pachuca is bottom of the same section with 16 points.
The 18 teams in the Mexican Primera Division are split into three groups. The top two in each section pass to the playoffs, with the best two teams in the general table that do not qualify directly from the groups also progressing.
Fixtures continue Sunday, with Pumas vs. Queretaro and Estudiantes vs. America.