Pumas beat Monterrey to secure place in playoff stage in Mexico

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America's Jesus Molina, left, heads for the ball next to Luis Caballero of Atlas during a Mexican soccer league match in Mexico City, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Christian Palma)


MEXICO CITY — Pumas secured the last playoff spot in the final round of matches in Mexico's first division after beating Monterrey 4-2 on Sunday.

America finished top despite losing 2-1 to Atlas on Saturday.

In the playoffs, America will play Pumas, Monterrey will face Atlas, second-place Tigres will take on Pachuca, and Toluca will play Chiapas.

The first legs are scheduled Wednesday and Thursday, with the return games on Saturday and Sunday.

Dante Lopez and David Cabrera struck for Pumas in the opening 10 minutes. Monterrey's Oribe Arellano pulled a goal back in the 14th, but Eduardo Herrera made it 3-1 just two minutes later. Candido Ramirez beat two defenders to score for Monterrey seconds before halftime, only for Herrera to restore the two-goal advantage with a penalty in the 68th minute.

Maikon Leite's goal put Atlas ahead in the 32nd. Oribe Peralta netted an America equalizer less than 10 minutes later, but Juan Medina struck a low winner from outside the area in the 68th.

Tigres secured a second-place finish with a late 2-1 victory against Toluca.

Tigres' Joffre Guerron opened the scoring with a header in the 20th minute and Paulo da Silva nodded equalizer later in the half.

Damian Alvarez struck the winner for Tigres in injury-time.

Aviles Hurtado scored the only goal as Pachuca secured a playoff position with a win against Veracruz.

First-half goals from Emiliano Armenteros and Horacio Cervantes were enough to secure Chiapas a 2-1 victory against Queretaro. Camilo Sanvezzo netted a consolation goal in the 89th but his team was eliminated from playoff contention.

Relegation-threatened Chivas secured a vital win with a 2-1 victory against Morelia.

Defending champion Leon was eliminated from the competition after losing 3-2 to Tijuana.

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