América has advanced to the Apertura 2018 Liga MX final after a comprehensive 6-1 victory in the second leg of their semifinal series against Pumas UNAM. That result gave the Águilas a 7-1 aggregate victory.
The series had been anyone’s to take after a 1-1 draw in the first leg on Thursday, but América made short work of Pumas in their home leg this Sunday. The Águilas took the lead just 7 minutes into the game, when Renato Ibarra scored with a low shot that Alfredo Saldívar got a hand to but couldn’t keep out.
Cruz Azul has advanced to the Apertura 2018 Liga MX final after beating Monterrey 1-0 in the second leg of their semifinal series. The 1-0 Cruz Azul win tied the aggregate series score at 1-1; with away goals equal at zero apiece, La Máquina advanced with the higher seed tiebreaker.
It was not an easy victory for Cruz Azul, who were obligated to win this leg after losing on Wednesday night. They came out attacking but were unable to find the breakthrough, while Monterrey suffered a blow with the loss of Roldofo Pizarro to injury in the 36th minute.
The Apertura 2018 Liga MX playoffs continue this week with the semifinal round. Three of the top four seeds made it through the quarterfinals – some with more difficulty than others – and now a spot in the Gran Final is on the line for the remaining teams.
The semifinals are a two-legged, home-and-away series decided by aggregate score. Away goals are tiebreakers; if both the aggregate and the away goals are level, the higher seed will advance.
The pairings are as follows:
Cruz Azul (1) vs Monterrey (5)
América (2) vs Pumas UNAM (3)
Monterrey wrapped up their regular season with a 3-1 victory against Atlas. The result keeps the Rayados unbeaten in three – and gives them a fourth straight home win – while the Rojinegros finish winless in four and winless on the road.
Monterrey had the better of the early chances, with Jesús Gallardo and Clifford Aboagye creating opportunities; then, in the 24th minute, the hosts were awarded a penalty kick following a handball in the box.
Tigres UANL scored in stoppage time to earn a 0-1 away win against Chivas de Guadalajara as they angle for better playoff positioning. The result is a third straight win for the universitarios, who are unbeaten in five, while El Rebaño ended the Apertura 2018 with a third straight home loss – and only one victory all season in the Estadio Akron.
Tigres were already assured of a spot in the Liguilla, while Chivas was already eliminated. The hosts were nevertheless looking to close their season on a high note, especially given the difficulties they’ve had at home in recent years. Tigres had the better of the run of play, but Chivas stood strong defensively, with Raúl Gudiño making a number of important saves.