Pumas UNAM: W v Tigres UANL 3-1 (4-3 agg.)
Needing a win to advance, Pumas returned to their home stadium hoping their poor record on their own turf wouldn’t continue. Pumas hadn’t won a match at home since September 16 against Lobos BUAP, but needed to exorcise those demons in addition to the heavy favorite, Tigres. After holding on to a 0-0 score through the first 45′, giving up 11 total shots, Pumas struck first with a Carlos Gonzalez goal in the 52nd minute. Tigres would respond in the 55th from Rafael Carioca to tie it at one goal per side. The fun didn’t stop there, though, as Felipe Mora got in on the action to retakethe lead for Pumas just four minutes after they gave it up. After being 0-0 for 52 minutes, it was 2-1 to Pumas after 59! Tigres needed to score to tie the game and advance on aggregate, but throwing players forward opened them up in the back and they conceded again two minutes into stoppage time on a Matias Alustiza goal. Tigres could still have advanced on away goals with another tally, but Pumas held strong and were able to move on to the semifinals.
Club America: W v Toluca 3-2 (5-4 agg.)
After a lackluster first leg that saw Toluca and America draw at two goals each, Las Aguilas could at least go into the second leg knowing they had the away goals advantage and had only given up six goals at Estadio Azteca in eight Liga MX matches. They opened the match again in a more defensive formation with three center backs and two full backs, but were able to take advantage of a fortunate bounce of the ball, when Roger Martinez picked up a loose ball off teammate Cecilio Dominguez and put it behind Alfredo Talavera just three minutes into the match, putting Toluca further behind the eight-ball. A wide-open, yet still impressive, header from Bruno Valdez in the 24th minute gave America a 2-0 lead, which they’d hold into halftime. It was Valdez’s 6th goal on the campaign, continuing the fine center back contribution for Las Aguilas. Early in the second half, Toluca made things more difficult for themselves, going down to 10-men because of a Rodrigo Salinas red card in the 51st minute. America would score on a gorgeous volley from Paul Aguilar and it seemed they would roll into the semifinals on a high. They would relax too much, though. Rubens Sambueza scored a beautiful free-kick in the 68th minute and William da Silva found the back of the net in minute 87, leaving Toluca just one goal away from upsetting America on away goals. America’s bad dream ended before it became a full-on nightmare though, and Las Aguilas advanced with a 3-2 win.
America nearly lost a three goal lead by playing too conservatively, while Pumas played with aggressiveness and were able to feel pretty good about themselves headed into Thursday’s semifinal match.