| Thursday, September 26, 2002 02:23 EST
Morelia edges Cruz Azul 1-0
LOS ANGELES -- Jose Antonio Noriega scored in the final
minute to give Morelia a 1-0 victory over Cruz Azul in the first
game of a Copa Libertadores playoff doubleheader Wednesday. All
teams are from Mexico.
Noriega scored in the 90th minute with a feed from Alex
Fernandes. Noriega's rising 7-yard shot ricocheted off the right
hand of goalkeeper Oscar Perez and inside the left post.
Perez played every minute for Mexico during the 2002 World Cup.
Morelia goalkeeper Sergio Cisneros made one save for the
In the second match at the Los Angeles Coliseum, Sergio Ponce
and Hector Jimenez scored to give Toluca a 2-0 victory over
Ponce scored in the 28th minute on a free kick from inches
outside the 18-yard penalty area. Jimenez struck a 15-yard shot off
the right hand of onrushing Pachuca goalkeeper Jorge Rodriguez in
the 53rd minute.
Pachuca played an all-reserve squad because of a scheduling
conflict with a Mexican league game.
Despite the loss, Cruz Azul advances with UNAM Pumas of Mexico
City to a four-team playoff beginning Oct. 2 with Toluca and
Cruz Azul, UNAM Pumas and Morelia finished in a three-way tie in
their group, but Cruz Azul and Pumas advance on goal differential.
The four-team playoff will determine the two Mexican entries for
the Copa Libertadores, South America's most prestigious club