Red Devils take step toward title

[MEXICO] Toluca, the Diablos Rojos, beat host Cruz Azul, 2-0, on Thursday in the first leg of the Apertura 2008 final with first-half goals by Paulo Da Silva and Sergio Amaury Ponce.

A fine cross by Mexican international Antonio Naelson "Sinha," a naturalized Brazilian, set up Paraguayan defender Paulo Da Silva for a headed goal in the 14th minute. Amaury Ponce connected seven minutes later with a precise free kick.

Sinha orchestrated attacks from the midfield while Argentine Martín Romagnoli and Israel López broke down Cruz Azul attacks, which failed to test Toluca keeper Hernán Cristante, although defender Edgar Dueñas cleared a Nicolás Vigneri shot off the goal line in stoppage time and Jaime Lozano's volley in the final seconds nicked the crossbar.

Toluca is undefeated in its last 10 games, during which it conceded only one goal, by Santos' American Edgar Castillo in a 2-1 semifinal win. The second leg takes place on Sunday.

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