• Saturday May 18, 2013

    América advances to Liga MX final with win

    MEXICO CITY -- Club América is back in the final of Mexican football thanks to a 2-1 win over Monterrey on Saturday to take their semifinal series 4-3 on aggregate.

    The Aguilas qualified for their first final since the 2007 Clausura and will try to win their first league title since the 2005 Clausura. The result, which also qualified them for the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League, means that Monterrey cannot compete for a fourth consecutive confederation crown.

    The start of the match at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City was delayed due to the late arrival of the Rayados to the stadium. In the opening 15 minutes, the host hoped to take advantage of a Monterrey side that may not have been sufficiently warmed up.

    Miguel Herrera's team had several early chances at goal, but lacked the final touch, including an miss from Raúl Jiménez in the 12th minute in front of an empty net.

    The current CONCACAF champion withstood the pressure and little by little climbed into the match. A chance from Humberto Suazo in the 17th minute served as a warning that despite their uneven start, the visitors were capable of creating danger.

    The face of the game changed in the second half. A penalty whistled in the 62nd minute gave América the advantage. There was contact in the area from Monterrey defender Jose Maria Basanta on the right knee of Rubens Sambueza and referee Paul Enrique Delgadillo did not hesitate to point to the penalty spot. Jimenez converted the resulting kick, beating goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco.

    América closed out the encounter in the 82nd minute with a beautiful combination between Benitez and Jiménez that ended with a goal by the Ecuadorian forward as the home fans kicked off a wild celebration.

    A tally by Aldo De Nigris two minutes into stoppage time gave Monterrey a slim hope of coming back, but it was not meant to be as moments later the referee blew the final whistle officially sealing América's place in the final.

    The other Liga MX finalist will be decided on Sunday, when Cruz Azul brings its 3-0 lead against Santos home to the Estadio Azul.

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