MEXICO CITY – Defending champion Monterrey has secured the top seed in the knockout stage of the Copa MX, a Mexican soccer cup competition, with a 3-2 away win over second-division side Correcaminos UAT in its final match of the round-robin phase.
Monterrey took a 3-0 lead in that Group 3 contest Tuesday night with a trio of first-half goals at Marte R. Gomez Stadium in the northeastern city of Ciudad Victoria.
Paraguayan striker Jorge Benitez opened the scoring in the seventh minute and also assisted on goals by Argentine Lucas Albertengo in the 21st minute and Uruguay’s Carlos Sanchez one minute before the intermission.
Correcaminos, however, pulled two back early in the second half with goals by Luis Morales in the 55th minute and Nestor Breitenbruch a minute later.
The visitors were able to regroup, however, and hold on for the win and a perfect record in Group 3 of four wins, no draws and no losses.
Also Tuesday night, Atlas advanced to the knockout phase by edging host Veracruz 1-0 on a 78th-minute goal by Carlos Robles at Luis “Pirata” de la Fuente Stadium. Atlas finished second in Group 7 behind second-division club Tampico Madero but secured enough away goals to book its place in the round of 16.
Elsewhere, Zacatepec went on the road and defeated fellow second-division club Murcielagos 1-0 to secure a berth in the knockout phase as the top team in Group 6.
In Group 8, host Atletico San Luis topped Pachuca 2-1 Tuesday night at Alfonso Lastras Stadium in the city of San Luis Potosi, but that one away goal was enough to send the Tuzos into the knockout stage and eliminate San Luis.
Celaya also has advanced to the knockout stage as the top team in Group 8 based on away goals.
In Group 9, Morelia secured the top spot by virtue of its 2-1 victory Tuesday night over Queretaro, which also has advanced to the knockout stage. Sonora ended up with the same number of points in the round-robin phase (six) but was eliminated due to its failure to score any away goals.
Monterrey (Group 3), Toluca (Group 4), Zacatepec (Group 6), Tampico Madero (Group 7), Celaya (Group 8) and Morelia (Group 9) have booked berths in the round of 16 as winners of their respective groups.
Santos Laguna (Group 4), Necaxa (Group 6), Atlas (Group 7), Pachuca (Group 8) and Queretaro (Group 9) also are in the round of 16 as second-place finishers
The remaining five knockout-stage teams will be determined based on the results of three matches scheduled for Wednesday night: Tapachula v. Venados (Group 1), Oaxaca v. Puebla (Group 2) and Juarez v. UNAM (Group 5).
The single-leg matches of the knockout stage will be played on March 6-7.