Morelia beats Tijuana, moves closer to grabbing Liga MX playoff spot
The Morelia Monarcas downed the Tijuana Xolos 3-2 on the weekend, moving into the playoff qualification zone in Mexico’s 2018 Apertura tourney after the 16-week regular season.
Mexico’s Miguel Sansores scored twice - in minutes 38 and 84 - while Chile’s Sebastian Vegas converted in the 60th minute on Saturday to put Roberto Hernandez’s squad into the win column, while Mexico’s Antonio Nava and Colombia’s Fabian Castillo scored for the Xolos in the 53rd and 72nd minutes, respectively.
On the artificial turf in the Tijuana stadium, Morelia took the field on the hunt for the three points that would put it into the playoffs and in the 38th minute the goal by Sansores got them on the board first, the half ending without any further scoring action.
After the break, things went back and forth on the pitch, with Nava tying things up with a right-footer in the 53rd minute and then Vegas putting the visitors ahead with a left-footed shot seven minutes later and Castillo beating the defense in the area and evening the score once again.
But the decisive play of the match came when Sansores took a pass from Carlos Fiero and knocked a header into the net in the 84th minute for the win.
The Monarcas, who have qualified for the playoffs in three straight tournaments, are now in eighth place with seven wins, four ties, five defeats and 25 points, two more than Pachuca and Queretaro, who tied their matched on Friday.
On Sunday, Toluca, ranked seventh in the standings, will welcome sixth-placed Pumas UNAM and No. 3 Santos Laguna will play No. 2 America in the weekend’s two most-anticipated duels.