Santos Laguna secures spot in Mexican playoffsAP , Associated Press
Oct. 27, 2013 4:53 PM ET
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Santos Laguna defeated Atlante 3-1 on Saturday to confirm its place in the playoffs of Mexico's Apertura championship, while Leon, Toluca and Cruz Azul are almost over the line after the weekend's matches, with two rounds of the regular season still remaining.
Leon drew 2-2 with Toluca, Cruz Azul drew 0-0 against Pachuca while America - the only team that had already qualified - defeated Puebla 3-1 to remain in first place in the league.
In other games this weekend, Morelia drew 1-1 with Chiapas, Tijuana and Tigres finished 0-0, Atlas won 3-1 against Queretaro, Pumas drew 0-0 with Veracruz and Monterrey drew 1-1 with Chiapas.
Eduardo Herrera headed in for Santos Laguna in the first minute and added his second on the stroke of halftime to double his team's lead. Colombian Darwin Quintero rounded the 'keeper and slotted the ball into the net 10 minutes from the end to complete the scoring for Santos, which is now qualified for next season's Copa Libertadores.
Atlante's Roberto Nanni scored his team's only goal five minutes later.
Paraguayan striker Pablo Velazquez twice equalized for Toluca against Leon. Mauro Boselli scrambled the ball over the line in the 37th to hand Leon the lead, before Velaquez headed in from close range in the 64th. Mauricio Castaneda volleyed in to again put Leon in the lead in the 82nd, but Velazquez struck from the edge of the area three minutes later.
Pachuca dominated possession against Cruz Azul but couldn't get a breakthrough.
Seven of America's usual starters were missing due to national team commitments against Puebla, but two goals in the first 30 minutes from Rubens Sambueza put it in control of the game. Carlos Sanchez pulled one back just before halftime following a mistake from America 'keeper Hugo Gonzalez, but a penalty from Narciso Mina in the 50th sealed America's win.
Morelia went ahead in the seventh through Edgar Andrade, with debutant William Guzman equalizing in the 89th for Chivas, after Morelia's Hector Mancilla had been sent off in the 85th.
Tijuana needed a win against Tigres to maintain realistic playoff hopes, but couldn't get through, despite Tigres having Jose Rivas sent off in the 78th.
Atlas recorded their first win, with Edson Rivera opening the scoring in the 17th, Flavio Santos adding the second in the 60th and Matias Vuoso completing the scoring in the 81st.
Leandro Gracian netted for Queretaro in the 73rd.
Pumas have scored only six goals in 15 matches and continued the drought against a Veracruz side that maintains hopes of making the playoffs.
Monterrey's Humberto Suazo equalized in the 61st, following Felix Araujo's opener in the 10th.