América locked up their spot in the playoffs in their final regular season game – they have a bye next week – with a 0-5 thumping of Veracruz. The result gives the Águilas three wins in their last four, while the Tiburones Rojos are winless in two.
The visitors were the better team from the beginning and it didn’t take long for their dominance to pay off. The usually assured Sebastián Jurado gifted them the opening goal in the 18th minute, when he came out to punch away a corner and missed the contact; the ball fell to Bruno Valdez, who put it away to make it 0-1.
Just four minutes later, a breakaway saw Nicolás Castillo chip the onrushing keeper to make it 0-2; and four minutes after that, Henry Martín made it 0-3 with his shot from the top of the box.
Veracruz struggled to react after allowing three goals in eight minutes, and in reality there was never any hope of the hosts mounting a comeback. The only question was how many more goals América would score.
They could have had more before halftime, but they couldn’t quite find the target despite creating opportunities. In the second half, though, they soon got back on the board.
In the 53rd minute, Martín scored his second of the night after working the ball into the box with Castillo to give the Águilas the 0-4 lead.
Martín then finished off his hat-trick in the 80th minute, giving América the definitive 0-5 lead, when Roger Martínez played him into the box after Veracruz lost the ball in the back. The one sour note of the night for the visitors was the substitution of Nico Castillo for an apparent groin strain in the 63rd minute.
With the 0-5 win, América reaches 31 points while Veracruz still has eight.