Corona's Tijuana on verge of promotion

[AMERICANS ABROAD] The season is over for all the Americans in Mexico's top division except Guadalajara's Sacramento-born defender Miguel Ponce, who admits he is more Mexican than American, but 20-year-old Benny Corona, who like Ponce grew up playing in the San Diego area and played one season at San Diego State, is starting for Tijuana in its bid to win promotion in the second-level Torneo de Ascenso.

Corona has been a key player for the Xolos, who tied Irapuato, 1-1, in the first leg of the Torneo Clausura final.The second leg will be played Saturday at Irapuato, which is led by former Chicago Fire star Cuauhtemoc Blanco.

Tijuana won the Torneo Apertura last fall and will win promotion if it captures both stages. Another playoff series will be necessary if Irapuato wins.

Only one team goes up and down in Mexico's ultraconservative promotion-relegation system.

Necaxa could take a hit of as much as $20 million for being relegated for the second time in three seasons.

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