KENYA BROWN - Tuesday, May 8, 2018
The semifinals of the Liguilla are set as Jorge Villafana, Rubio Rubin, Michael Orozco, Alejandro Guido, and Joe Corona advanced with their respective teams.
America vs. Pumas UNAM (America advances 6-2 on aggregate)
Club America booked their place in the semifinals after winning both legs in their quarterfinal encounter over Pumas UNAM.
The capital team set the mark in the first leg with a comfortable 4-1 win at Estadio Olimpico de Universitario. Both Joe Corona and Bernabe Magana watched this game from the bench for their respective teams.
The visitors did not wait long to start scoring as Matheus Uribe scored within seconds of the first half. Renato Ibarra's free-kick was headed in by the Colombian international to set off what would rout for the visitors.
Jeremy Menez doubled their lead in the 30th minute when he converted a penalty after the referee called a handball in the area.
Uribe scored his second on the night in the 38th minute when Menez set him up to take a crack on the edge of the area.
Pumas pulled one back just before halftime Nicolas Castillo scored from the penalty spot.
However, America was too strong as Menez went on to convert another penalty in the 61st minute.
All that was left was for America to confirm their spot in the semifinals and they did so in the second leg with a 2-1 win.
Corona would play in this game as head coach Miguel Herrera gave him the start.
Uribe continued his good form as he scored the team's first in the fourth minute of play. The Colombian international would start a counterattack, passing the ball off to Menez then getting it back to finish the play.
Jesus Gallardo leveled the score in the 44th minute when he battled past two defenders to get his shot by America goalkeeper Augustin Marchesin.
Andres Ibarguen scored the winner for the host in the 80th minute with a long-range strike.
America will face Santos Laguna in the semifinals.
Monterrey vs. Tijuana (Tijuana advances 3-2 on aggregate)
Tijuana advanced to the semifinals with a narrow aggregate win over Monterrey.
The first leg of their encounter would end in a 1-1 tie at Estadio Caliente.
Michael Orozco would be the only American to see action for Los Xolos as he came off the bench. Rubio Rubin and Alejandro Guido would watch all of the action from the bench.
Monterrey opened the scoring in the 39th minute through Dorlan Pabon. The Colombian forward unleashed a long-range strike that Tijuana goalkeeper Gibran Lajud could only get his fingertips on as it hit the back of the net.
However, the host found the equalizer in the 53rd minute with a goal from Ignacio Rivero. His free-kick from well outside the area was tough to stop.
The tie led to a highly-charged second leg as Tijuana came away with a 2-1 win over Monterrey at Estadio BBVA Bancomer.
Both Rubin and Orozco would see action in this game as they came off the bench for Los Xolos in the win.
Tijuana laid down the challenge early as they scored in the fifth minute. It was a rather freakish goal as Gustavo Bou attempted a shot from outside the area. However, it would deflect off teammate Miller Bolanos and loop high in the air
over Monterrey goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez before landing in the goal.
Juan Lucero scored the visitor's second in the 23rd minute. Bou would send a cross into the area allowing the Argentine to one-time it from close range.
Pabon would cut the deficit just minutes into the second half a blast from inside the area, but it would not be enough at Tijuana knocked out their opponents.
Tijuana will next face Toluca.
Santos Laguna vs. Tigres UANL (Santos Laguna advances 2-2 on aggregate)
Santos would knock out Tigres to book their place in the semifinals, but their advancement is quite different from what is seen in Europe.
Tigres would have the advantage after 2-0 first leg win at Estadio Universitario de Nuevo Leon.
Jorge Villafana would start for Santos but only play for more than 30 minutes before being subbed off. Jose Torres and Lalo Fernandez would have places on the bench for Tigres.
Hugo Ayala opened the scoring in the 22nd minute as he headed in a corner kick from Javier Aquino. Andre Gignac doubled their lead in the 79th minute as he converted a penalty.
Tigres came into the second leg with a huge advantage, but Santos bounced back with a 2-0 win of their own at Estadio Nuevo Corona.
Villafana would this time watch all of the action from the bench for Santos while Fernandez again found a spot on the bench for Tigres.
Osvaldo Martinez scored Santos' first goal in the 17th minute when his free-kick went over the Tigres wall and into the back of the net.
However, Tigres would be given an advantage when the referee showed a red card to Jonathan Rodriguez in the 28th minute for his challenge on Javier Aquino.
That did not deter the host as Djaniny scored their second in the 73rd minute. The Cape Verde international took a chance from outside the area and it appeared goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman had control of the ball. However, it came out his hands and trickled into the goal.
Santos advance to the semifinals despite the 2-2 aggregate score line as they have a higher regular season finishing position.