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Decision day turns on a coin flip
by Ridge Mahoney, January 10th, 2008 6:30AM

TAGS:  mexico


[INTERLIGA] Club America and Atlas joined San Luis and Cruz Azul as the final four Mexican contestants for two spots in the Copa Libertadores by scoring five goals in a 3-2 America win Wednesday night at Home Depot Center as Interliga group play concluded. But in spirit of the tournament's wacky tradition, matters weren't completely settled at the final whistle.

A coin toss was needed to separate Atlas and Toluca. Both finished with 1-1-1 records, scored four goals and conceded three, and tied their head-to-head meeting, 0-0 on the first day of group play last week. Atlas striker Bruno Marioni called the toss correctly.

Club America (3-0-0, 9 points) won Group A and will face Group B runner-up Cruz Azul (2-1-0, 6 points) Saturday at HDC to decide which team will be designated 'Mexico 2' and earn a spot in Group 5 of the Copa Libertadores.

San Luis (2-1-0, 6 points) won Group B and meets Atlas (1-1-1, 4 points) to decide 'Mexico 3' and the opponent for Bolivian club La Paz FC in a two-leg, play-in series for a Copa berth.

In the first game of last night's doubleheader Toluca had kept alive its hopes by blasting pointless Morelia, 3-1. Cristian Gimenez, Zinha and Vicente Sanchez scored to temporarily move Toluca into a tie with Atlas for second place, but with a superior goal difference (plus 2 to plus 1) going into its match with Club America, Atlas needed to lose by two goals or score fewer than two for Toluca to progress outright.

It hit the only possible scoreline that would have forced a coin flip; had it lost 4-3, it would have advanced on goals scored. A 1-0 loss would have been enough for Toluca.

That's Interliga. Always something out of the ordinary.

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