America and Tigres scrape into Mexican final four

Americas edged its way to the semi-finals (AFP)

America and Tigres UNAL survived scares as they advanced to the semi-finals of the Mexican Liga MX Apertura.

After a 1-0 first-leg loss to Pumas UNAM, Paolo Goltz levelled the aggregate score for America at 1-1 with a 75th-minute header in the return match at the Estadio Azteca.

America progressed to the final four due to its superior standing in the regular-season Liga MX table.

Antonio Mohamed's America topped the table, while Pumas was eighth.

Pumas, who went on an eight-match unbeaten run to reach the play-offs, took a slender one-goal lead into the weekend's second leg thanks to Eduardo Herrera.

The Mexican striker headed the ball into the bottom corner of the net 11 minutes from time at the Estadio Olimpico de Universitario in Coyoacan.

But Pumas was hauled back at a similar stage in the return fixture, Goltz using his head from a corner with 15 minutes left on the clock to send America through to the semis.

Tigres also benefited from itsposition in the standings after it drew 2-2 with Pachuca on aggregate.

The scores were tied over two legs after Hugo Ayala's 38th-minute fortuitous rebound cancelled out Ariel Nahuelpan's opener and earned host Tigres a 1-1 draw in San Nicolas de los Garza.

And Tigres' runner-up finish in the regular season ensured its passage into the next round.

Atlas crashed out of the Apertura play-offs at the first hurdle, losing 2-1 on aggregate against Monterrey.

Tomas Boy's Atlas - third during the regular season - won the opening leg 1-0 away from home but could not repeat that feat oin the return leg as Monterrey triumphed 2-0.

Meanwhile, Toluca's fourth-placed finish saw it move into the final four after a 2-2 aggregate stalemate with Chiapas.

Source Omnisport