America miss out on quarter-finals in Mexico

May 1, 2006

MEXICO CITY, May 1 (Reuters) - America, one of Mexico's most popular and wealthy clubs, missed out on the Clausura championship quarter-finals when they were held 1-1 at home by lowly Monterrey on Sunday.

America, who could still have gone through with a win, fell behind to a Gaston Fernandez goal after only eight minutes at the Azteca Stadium.

Argentine Christian Gimenez equalised in the 21st minute but, despite dominating the entire second half, America were unable to find a winner and finished fifth in Group One with 21 points.

Atlante and San Luis went through from Group One, Pachuca and Toluca from Group Two and Chiapas and Cruz Azul from Group Three.

Guadalajara, who finished with 23 points in Group Three, and Sinaloa, who finished with 22 in Group Two, had the best records among the other teams.

However, Sinaloa, who were held 0-0 at home by UNAM and lost only three games in their group, were barred from taking part in the quarter-finals as they were also relegated under the competition's intricate rules.

Relegation in Mexico is decided on separate standings taken over the previous three seasons.

Instead, Morelia, who drew 1-1 at Veracruz, went through in their place.

San Luis's 2-1 win over Atlas guaranteed them second place in Group One and also meant they finished above Sinaloa in the relegation table.

Alfredo Gonzales and Marcelo Guerrero scored for San Luis.

Guadalajara, the only team not to field foreigners, went through despite losing their last game 2-0 at home to defending champions Toluca, Ivan Castillejos scoring both goals for the Red Devils.