Manuel Perez came off the bench to help inspire a second half comeback, but it wasn’t enough as Pachuca ran away 3-2 victors at the Estadio Azteca, in a match eclipsed by what occurred between Monarcas Morelia and Monterrey.
Club America came into this match with the psychological boost of knowing that a draw would be enough to punch them a ticket to the Liguilla, but Pachuca took a 20th minute lead when Jonathan Urretaviscaya swept home following a great play from Hirving Lozano.
Lozano was a nightmare all game for the Club America defenders and his aptitude produced further dividends when another play started by the Mexican international led to Urretaviscaya scoring his second of the game.
Needing two goals, coach Ricardo La Volpe resorted to the bench in the second half, with Manuel Perez coming on for las Aguilas in the 63rd minute. Perez’s impact was almost immediate, and the former Pumas forward placed a right footed shot past Oscar “Conejo” Perez to put Las Aguilas one goal away from the Liguilla.
Perez didn’t stop there and just two minutes later, the youngster placed another right-footed shot in the top corner of the net to level the score at two goals apiece.
Pachuca were pushing strongest for a winner, though, and in the 79th minute, with both center backs playing as forwards, Oscar Murillo sent a header past Agustin Marchesin to regive Pachuca the lead.
While all of this was going on, at the Estadio BBVA Bancomer, Monterrey were leveled 1-1 with Monarcas Morelia, result that kept Club America in the Liguilla and Morelia relegated from Liga MX.
When it looked like Monarcas Morelia’s fate was sealed, in the 92nd minute, Raul Ruidiaz appeared unmarked to score an emphatic winner for the Michoacan outfit. The goal not only guaranteed Morelia salvation, but it clinched them a place in the Liguilla and eliminated Club America in the process.
With this Club America miss out in their first Liguilla in 13 seasons, while Morelia joins Xolos de Tijuana, Monterrey, Toluca, Chivas, Santos Laguna, Atlas, and Tigres in the Liguilla.