Club America wins spot in Copa Libertadores

January 13, 2008
By AP

CARSON, Calif. (AP) - Mexico City's Club America won the InterLiga soccer tournament by defeating crosstown rival Cruz Azul 5-3 in penalty kicks in the second game of the championship doubleheader Saturday night.

Both teams were tied 2-2 after 90 minutes of regulation and 3-3 after 30 minutes of overtime.

In the first game, Jorge Achucarro had two goals and an assist to lead Atlas of Guadalajara to a 3-0 victory over San Luis.

By winning InterLiga, Club America qualified for the Copa Libertadores, South America's most prestigious club tournament. Atlas will face Bolivia's La Paz FC in a playoff for a berth in the tournament.

Salvador Cabanas, Rodrigo Lopez, Jose de Jesus Mosqueda, Oscar Rojas and German Villa converted Club America's penalty kicks.

Cruz Azul's Edgar Andrade, Nicolas Vigneri and Cesar Villaluz also converted, but Cristian Riveros' shot hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced away.

Gerardo Lugo put Cruz Azul ahead 3-2 in the 104th minute by tapping an 8-yard shot inside the left post. Lopez tied the score with a 3-yard shot off his right instep in the 117th minute.

Villaluz scored in the fourth minute on a 9-yard shot, but Cabanas scored twice to give Club America a 2-1 halftime lead.

Cabanas, a member of Paraguay's 2006 World Cup team, scored on a 7-yard header off Richard Nunez's corner kick in the ninth minute and converted a penalty kick in the 44th minute.

Cruz Azul's Jaime Lozano tied the score in the 71st minute with another penalty kick.

Cruz Azul head coach Sergio Markarian was ejected in the 83rd minute after a shoving match between players from both teams erupted on the field.

In the evening's first game, Bruno Marioni gave Atlas a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute with his tournament-leading fifth goal. Achucarro took Juan Carlos Medina's long pass and sent the ball from the right flank to Marioni, who scored on a 7-yard header.

Achucarro extended the lead to 2-0 in the 53rd minute. Jorge Hernandez sent another long pass to Achucarro, who dribbled around goalkeeper Adrian Martinez and fired a 21-yard shot inside the left post.

Achucarro ended the scoring in the 75th minute on a curling 18-yard shot.

Atlas goalkeeper Mario Rodriguez made one save for his third shutout in four InterLiga games.