BUENOS AIRES, May 3 (Reuters) - Uruguayan Clausura title
winners Penarol finished the tournament unbeaten at the weekend
having dropped only two points in 15 matches.
Morelia, Santos Laguna and Pachuca won their first legs of
the Mexican Clausura quarter-finals while Toluca drew 2-2 away
Penarol, who had already clinched the Clausura title with
three games to spare, finished the championship unbeaten with 14
wins and one draw, a record since the season was divided into
two separate tournaments.
They had to come from behind twice to win their last match
3-2 against Atenas with a last-gasp goal by tireless midfielder
Egidio Arevalo to top the table with 43 points, 14 ahead of
joint second Cerro and Fenix.
Penarol will meet arch-rivals Nacional, the Apertura winners
in the first half of the season who ended the Clausura with 27
points in fourth place, in the final to decide the overall
Morelia, Santos Laguna, Pachuca and Toluca took a step
towards the Clausura semi-finals by taking the upper hand in
their last-eight ties after the first legs.
Toluca drew 2-2 away to America at the Azteca in Mexico City
where all the goals were scored inside the opening half hour.
They then hung on with 10 men after defender Diego Novaretti was
sent off in the 34th minute.
The "Monarchs" of Morelia beat 10-man title favourites
Guadalajara 4-2 after the "Chivas" had forward Omar Arellano
sent off four minutes before the interval.
Guadalajara will be looking to pick themselves up when they
face Argentina's Velez Sarsfield with a 3-0 lead in the second
leg of their Libertadores Cup last-16 tie in Buenos Aires on
Santos Laguna beat Pumas UNAM 2-0 and Pachuca won 1-0
against Apertura winners Monterrey.
San Martin crushed Alianza Atletico 4-0 with a hat-trick
from Argentine striker Hebert Arriola to open a three-point lead
in the standings. Second-placed Cesar Vallejo let slip a
two-goal advantage and were held 2-2 way to Melgar.
The Strongest beat Blooming 2-1 at home in La Paz and caught
San Jose, who lost 2-1 away to Aurora in Cochabamba, at the top
of Group A.
Bolivar's lead in Group B was cut to three points when they
lost 3-1 away to Oriente Petrolero, whose striker Jorge Ramirez
scored a hat-trick.
Leaders Barcelona were held 0-0 by El Nacional, whose
forward Edison Preciado missed a 15th-minute penalty, in the
match between Ecuador's two most titled teams.
LDU Quito climbed to within one point of Barcelona after a
2-0 win over Deportivo Cuenca with two goals from midfielder
Champions Colo Colo beat Santiago Morning 2-0 in their first
match under their Argentine coach Diego Cagna and lead the table
with 29 points, one ahead of arch-rivals Universidad de Chile,
who crushed San Luis 4-0.
The top-of-the-table clash between Tolima and title holders
Independiente Medellin ended 1-1, allowing Santa Fe to edge
within one point of the leaders with a 2-1 win over Once Caldas.
With two matches to go to the knockout phase, Tolima have 31
points, Medellin and Santa Fe 30 and Atletico Junior, who beat
Cerro Porteno's lead was cut to two points as they were held
0-0 by arch-rivals Olimpia in the Asuncion derby at the
Defensores del Chaco national stadium. Second-placed Guarani
beat 3 de Febrero 2-1, their fifth win in a row.
Caracas FC beat Zamora 4-0 to go four points clear in the
Clausura with two matches to go. They have 33 points and
second-placed Deportivo Italia 29 after beating Aragua 2-0.
Apertura winners Deportivo Tachira cannot retain the title
after a 0-0 draw with 10-man Trujillanos left them seven points
behind the leaders. Home side Trujillanos had midfielder Robert
Armua sent off after 24 minutes.
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