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Mexico: Cruz Azul clinches Liga MX playoff berth

Photo: Christian Palma/AP

Cruz Azul's Julio Cesar Dominguez, center, celebrates after scoring against Club America over the weekend.

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Cruz Azul became the first team to qualify for the playoffs in Mexico's first division with a 2-1 victory over Mexico City rivals America.

Toluca remains in second and on the brink of reaching the playoffs despite a 3-1 loss to Tijuana, while Pumas moved into third position with a 2-1 win against Chiapas.

In other results this weekend, Santos Laguna drew 2-2 with Monterrey, Chivas defeated Pachuca 3-1, Atlas drew 0-0 with Puebla, Tigres won 2-0 against Atlante, Leon drew 1-1 with Queretaro and Morelia drew 1-1 with Veracruz.

Argentine Mauro Formica was left free in the penalty area and put Cruz Azul into the lead with a header in the 18th minute on Saturday.

Julio Cesar Dominguez then deflected a Marco Fabian free kick into the net for the second goal two minutes before halftime. Raul Jimenez pulled one back for America four minutes from the end.

Tijuana got second-half goals from Javier Guemez and Cristian Pellerano to defeat Toluca on Friday. Jorge Sartiaguin had equalized for Toluca in the 39th after Dario Benedetto put Tijuana into the lead in the 28th.

Dante Lopez scored twice in the final 10 minutes of the first half for Pumas on Sunday, but they had to hold on for the win after Chiapas' Andres Hurtado pulled one back with an overhead kick in the 79th.

Santos Laguna's Oribe Peralta salvaged the draw against Monterrey by equalizing with a header in the 89th. Monterrey had taken a 2-0 lead after getting first-half goals from Lucas Silva and Candido Ramirez.

New Chivas manager Ricardo La Volpe got off to a good start, with Giovani Hernandez, Carlos Fierro and an own goal by Efrain Cortes helping his team come from behind to beat Pahuca.

Reigning champion Leon went ahead in its match against Queretaro when Miguel Sabah converted a penalty, but Brazilian Camilo Sanvezzo leveled for Queretaro five minutes later.

Cristian Martinez put Veracruz into the lead in the 51st, but Morelia took advantage after Oscar Mascorro was sent off in the 62nd, with Ignacio Gonzalez equalizing 15 minutes later.

Atlante looks to be heading for the second division after Tigres' Alan Pulido scored twice to give his team the win.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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