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12.1.04 - Atlas CF, Club América, CA Monarcas Morelia and Club Santos Laguna have advanced into the final round of the 2004 Prelibertadores scheduled for Wednesday, 14 January at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California USA.

The eight-team tournament, that will qualify two Mexican clubs to CONMEBOL’s Copa Libertadores this year, concluded its opening round with four matches on Sunday (11 January).

Santos Laguna (2-1-0, 6 Points) claimed top spot in Group A, coming from behind to defeat Toluca (2-1-0, 6 Points) 2:1 in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas USA, while in an earlier encounter Morelia (2-1-0, 6 Points) finished second in the group after topping CD Guadalajara (0-3-0, 0 Points) 2:1.

The victories by Santos and Morelia left those two teams and Toluca all tied with six points, Toluca having won their first two matches, and all three teams with a +1 goal differential, the first tiebreaker. Santos won the group having scored six goals, one more than Morelia, which placed second, and two more than Toluca, which ended the night out of the hunt of their first Copa Libertadores appearance.

In Group B action at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas USA on Sunday, Atlas (2-0-1, 7 Points) and Club America (1-0-2, Points) captured the first and second spots, respectively. Atlas defeated Atlante FC (0-3-0, 0 Points) 4:1, while Club América held Tigres UANL (1-1-1, 4 Points) to a 1:1 tie.

The tournament continues with the final round competition on Wednesday in Carson, California as Santos Laguna (Group A winner) meets Atlas (Group B winner) at 20:15 for Mexico’s first berth into the Copa Libertadores.

In an earlier encounter at 18:00 in Carson, Club América takes on Morelia with the winner to meet the loser of the Santos Laguna/Atlas match in a playoff for the final berth into the Copa Libertadores.

Mexico's first spot in the Copa Libertadores will be placed in Group 3, joining Cruzeiro (BRA), Universidad de Concepcion (CHI) and Caracas FC (VEN), while the second Mexican berth will play in Group 1 against Sao Caetano (BRA), Peñarol (URU) and The Strongest (BOL).

2004 PRELIBERTADORES
Group A
11.01.2004: Dallas, Texas USA; Cotton Bowl (A: 20466)
CA MONARCAS MORELIA – CD GUADALAJARA 2:1 (2:1)
Damián ALVAREZ 30’; Carlos PAVÓN 40’ – Omar BRAVO 16’
Booked: Roberto PALACIOS 37’, Darío FRANCO 67’ – Carlos SALCIDO 89’
R: Alex PRUS (USA)

11.01.2004: Dallas, Texas USA; Cotton Bowl (A: 20466)
CD TOLUCA FC – CLUB SANTOS LAGUNA 1:2 (1:0)
Miguel ZEPEDA 7’ – Joahan RODRÍGUEZ 57’; Héctor LÓPEZ 64’
Booked: Santos Laguna – Juan Carlos ARELLANO 52’, Cristian LUCHETTI 89’ Sent off: Santos Laguna – Matías VUOSO 88’
R: Kevin TERRY (USA)

Group B
11.01.2004: Houston, Texas USA; Reliant Stadium (A: 31146)
ATLANTE FC – ATLAS CF 1:4 (1:3)
Sebastián GONZALEZ 35’ pen – Manuel PEREZ 10’ pen, 38’ pen, 53’; Daniel HERRERA 32’
Booked: Rafael GUEVAS 37', Joel GONZALEZ Gonzalez 57', Fernando MARTEL 63', Fernando Arce (ATL) 89' – Omar FLORES 88'
R: Terry VAUGHN (USA)

11.01.2004: Houston, Texas USA; Reliant Stadium (A: 31146)
CLUB AMÉRICA – TIGRES UANL 1:1 (1:1)
Franky OVIEDO 12’ – Jesús PALACIOS 27’ Booked: German VILLA 54’ – Jesús PALACIOS 11’, Omar BRICEÑO 37’, Juan MONTANO 42’, Walter GAITAN 90’+
R: Michael KENNEDY (USA)
 
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