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UNAM no match for Cruz Azul
by Ridge Mahoney, March 5th, 2009 7AM
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[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] The venue changed, but the flow of play and result didn't. Cruz Azul -- leading its quarterfinal series with Mexico City rival UNAM, 1-0, from the first leg - dominated Pumas on their own field, and took the second leg by the same 1-0 score Wednesday at Estadio Olimpico Universitario.

Not until Cristian Riveros scored a spectacular goal in the 86th minute did Cruz Azul erase all doubt regarding the outcome, yet Pumas seldom gave their home fans much to shout about and seldom threatened.

With the 2-0 aggregate win, Cruz Azul advanced to the semifinals to play either Montreal Impact or Santos Laguna, which play their second leg Thursday (10 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel, TeleFutura) in Torreon, Mexico. Los Cementeros also extended their unbeaten streak against UNAM to eight games.

UNAM keeper Alejandro Palacios labored through several shaky moments as Cruz Azul cut open his defense numerous times. In the first half, Luis Angel Landin broke through on the left side to fire a shot just wide of the far post, and first-leg scorer Jaime Lozano bounced a header on frame that Palacios bobbled but managed to keep out. The goalie also batted away a Lozano free kick early in the second half.

Constant Cruz Azul attacks paid off in the final minutes when a fatigued UNAM, playing its sixth game in less than three weeks, crumbled again and Edgar Enrique Martini glided clear to hit a clever back-heel to Riveros, who easily belted it past Palacios.

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