Soccer-Toluca to meet new boys Tijuana in Mexican final

Reuters Middle East

MEXICO CITY, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Toluca scraped into the final of Mexico's Apertura championship despite losing 2-1 to America on Sunday after substitute Edgar Benitez's goal gave them a 3-2 win on aggregate.

Toluca, who beat America 2-0 in midweek in the first leg at the Azteca, are looking to tie Guadalajara's record of 11 league titles and will meet newcomers Tijuana in the final.

The Xolos, a small club promoted last year, recovered from a first leg defeat to beat Leon 3-0 at the border town's Caliente stadium and qualify 3-2 on aggregate.

There was an Argentine flavour to both America's first half goals.

Defender Miguel Layun scored in the 15th minute from Argentine Rubens Sambueza's backheeled pass and then former Argentina midfielder Daniel Montenegro headed their second in the 36th.

Benitez, who scored one of Toluca's goals in the first leg, got their all-important goal on the hour mark when he dribbled past two defenders and placed a low shot inside the post.

Tijuana faced a difficult task after losing the first leg 2-0 at Leon, promoted this year after 10 years in the second division but with a pedigree of five league titles between 1948 and 1992.

Fidel Martinez, Divier Riascos and substitute Richard Ruiz scored the goals for Tijuana, with the third coming in the final minute. (Reporting by Carlos Calvo, writing by Rex Gowar in Buenos Aires; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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